No. 11 Gators crush Georgia in SEC opener
Gainesville, FL – Mike Rosario scored 19 points and Patric Young added 11 as No. 11 Florida swarmed and overwhelmed Georgia, 77-44, in SEC action at the O'Connell Center.
Erik Murphy contributed 11 points and Casey Prather donated 10 with seven rebounds for the Gators (11-2, 1-0 SEC), who have won three straight.
"I think we really focused on guarding and playing good help-side defense," Prather said. "We were prepared and ready for what they were going to run."
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the only Bulldog to reach double figures with 11 points. Georgia (6-8, 0-1) shot only 38.9 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 19 times in losing for the first time since December 15.
"Florida just overwhelmed us," Bulldogs coach Mark Fox admitted.
The Gators turned up the defensive pressure in the opening 20 minutes, holding the Bulldogs to 35.7 percent shooting and just 15 points. It took Georgia 5 1/2 minutes to hit the scoreboard, as Vincent Williams' bucket came after Florida had settled into a double-digit lead.
Erik Murphy's 3-pointer opened an 11-0 lead before Williams' jumper finally stopped the bleeding, an extended stretch that included three missed shots and three turnovers.
Another trey from Murphy created a 19-4 advantage, and the Gators' edge moved between 11 and 14 for the remainder of the half. Murphy's layup capped the scoring for a 28-15 lead. Florida made four 3-pointers in the first half, while Georgia missed each of its four long-range attempts.
Florida's lockdown defense continued in the second half, as the Gators scored seven of the first nine points capped by Kenny Boynton's layup for a 35-17 lead. The Bulldogs scored just once in the first three-plus minutes and quickly found themselves in a 54-26 hole after three straight treys from Rosario, Murphy and Michael Frazier II.
The Gators rolled to the win from there.
Florida made just two less treys (12) than Georgia made field goals (14) ... The Gators finished with 17 assists to seven team turnovers compared to a 4- to-19 ratio for the Bulldogs ... Boynton finished with just seven points and made only 1-of-7 from beyond the arc. The rest of the team made 11-of-19 3- pointers.