(12) Florida (22-6) at Georgia (12-15)
Saturday, February 25th, 4:00 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Scott Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) -- Athens, Georgia. Television: SEC Network. Home Record: Florida 14-1, Georgia 9-6. Away Record: Florida 4-5, Georgia 2-8. Neutral Record: Florida 4-0, Georgia 1-1. Conference Record: Florida 10-3, Georgia 3-10. Series Record: Florida leads, 106-96.
GAME NOTES: Clinging to second place in the SEC standings, the 12th-ranked Florida Gators head to Athens to take on the Georgia Bulldogs in a conference clash at Stegeman Coliseum.
Billy Donovan's Gators are three games out of first place with three to play, as top-ranked Kentucky secured at least a share of the SEC title with a win this week. Florida comes into this contest having won three straight games after topping Auburn in Gainesville on Tuesday, 63-47.
Mark Fox's third season in Athens has been a struggle, as the Bulldogs are three games under .500 overall at 12-15. The SEC slate has been the team's biggest downfall, with a mere three conference wins. Georgia brings a three- game losing streak into this game, following Wednesday's 61-53 setback at LSU.
The Gators have more wins against Georgia than any other team and hold a 106-96 series advantage. Florida has won 15 of the last 17 meetings and is seeking the regular-season sweep after a 70-48 rout of the Bulldogs in Gainesville on January 10th.
The Gators have the ability to hang with any team in the country at the offensive end of the floor. The team is averaging 78.3 ppg, shooting .469 from the floor overall and a steady .400 from behind the arc. Junior guard Kenny Boynton is a big reason for the team's long range success. Boynton is netting 17.6 ppg, has amassed 95 three-pointers on the year and is shooting .442 from three-point range. There is plenty of perimeter support in the form of guards Bradley Beal (14.5 ppg) and Erving Walker (12.4 ppg). Frontcourt balance is provided by center Patric Young (10.4 ppg) and forward Erik Murphy (10.2 ppg).
Florida used a three-point barrage to push past Auburn this week. The team hit 11-of-21 from beyond the arc, fueled by Boynton's 6-of-9 showing. Boynton led all scorers with 20 points. Walker and Beal chimed in with 13 points apiece, as Florida shot a sizzling .535 from the floor overall.
Gerald Robinson netted 17 points and grabbed six rebounds, but it wasn't enough to halt Georgia's current skid, as the Bulldogs dropped an eight-point decision to LSU in Baton Rouge this week. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the only other Bulldog to net double figures, scoring 10 points in the losing cause.
Georgia's 53 points against the Tigers was a bit under the team's average, but a lack of scoring punch has been a problem all season long. The Bulldogs are netting a meager 61.0 ppg, thanks in large part to a miserable .392 overall shooting. Robinson and Caldwell-Pope represent the bulk of Georgia's scoring depth at 14.2 and 13.8 ppg, respectively. Dustin Ware is a distant third in the scoring column at just 7.9 ppg.
The Gators have far too much firepower to lose in Athens this today. If Boynton and company get off to a fast start, a lopsided decision for the visitors is the likely result.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida 74, Georgia 58
02/25 10:46:08 ET