Colin Castleton, Tre Mann and Tyree Appleby led a balanced scoring attack as host Florida held on to defeat cold-shooting Georgia 70-63 in their SEC matchup Saturday in Gainesville, Fla.
Castleton finished with 14 points on 5 of 5 shooting, Mann had 13 points and three steals, and Applebee alsoscored 13 points and chipped in five rebounds. The Gators (11-5, 7-5 SEC) shot 44.9 percent overall and 26.1 percent (6 of 23) on 3-pointers.
Ques Glover added 11 points and Noah Locke had nine for Florida.
Sahvir Wheeler led the Bulldogs (13-9, 6-9) with 27 points, 13.5 above his season average, on 9 of 17 shooting. Tye Fagan added 14, hitting 6 of 8 from the field, and six rebounds. Georgia shot only 37.5 percent from the field, including 20 percent (4 of 20) from long range.
The Bulldogs were down 14 at the half and had to hope to repeat their success in coming back from a 13-point deficit early in the second half to knock off Missouri on Tuesday.
They finally got the lead down to single digits in the last two minutes, twice pulling to within six. They trailed 68-62 on K.D. Johnson’s layup with 1:16 left.
Florida missed a 3-pointer, and after a Fagan miss, Georgia got the offensive rebound. P.J. Horne was fouled by Mann and split a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to five with 27 seconds left before the Gators finished off the win.
Anthony Duruji chipped in nine rebounds and two blocks for the Gators and Castleton added three blocks.
Johnson, a freshman and Georgia’s leading scorer, scored all eight of his points in the second half on 3 of 11 shooting.
Georgia spent most of the first half looking for its shooting touch, at one point missing 12 straight shots. When Justin Kier missed a 3-pointer with 4:28 left, the Bulldogs were hitting only 20 percent in the half.
Florida took advantage, going on a 13-0 run to turn a one-point deficit into a 20-8 lead with 8:39 left. A 3-pointer by Locke later widened the lead to 18 with 5:37 to play in the half, but the Bulldogs twice pulled to within 11.
However, Locke, who led the Gators with nine points at the half, hit another trey at the buzzer to restore the halftime lead to 14. Mann, Glover and Applebee scored eight apiece, as Florida shot 48 percent from the floor and 50 percent (5 of 10) from long range.
Wheeler’s 12 points led Georgia, which had only three players in the scoring column in the first half. Fagan was next at seven. The Bulldogs shot only 32.3 percent from the floor, and missed their first 11 3-pointers before finishing the half at 1 of 12 (8.3 percent).
–Field Level Media