Wednesday Jan. 28, 2009
GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- The Georgia men's basketball team was able to remain within striking distance during the first half, but the Florida Gators proved to be too much in the second half and defeated the visiting Bulldogs 83-57 Wednesday night at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
Florida (18-3, 5-1 SEC) was led by guard Nick Calathes, who led the Gators with a triple-double. Calathes finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists - all of which were game-highs. It is the first time a Georgia opponent finished with a triple-double since Fresno State's Dominic McGuire did so on March 14, 2007.
"(Calathes) didn't have many easy looks; it wasn't like we didn't guard him well or tough," head coach Dennis Felton said. "He's just extremely talented. He's a handful, especially when he's shooting the ball well and from as deep as he can shoot it."
Florida pushed the lead to 19-11 halfway through the first half, but Georgia (9-11. 0-5) would close the gap to one at 22-21 with six minutes to go in the half. Florida, however, would put together a 20-9 run late in the first half to push the score to 42-30 at intermission. Trey Thompkins led Georgia with 10 points, but the Bulldogs committed nine first half turnovers which led to 10 Gator points.
"That was the main thing we talked about at half," Felton said of the turnovers. "We started the second half with a few turnovers and the building got going. It gets easier to score at that point. We got overwhelmed."
The second half began with Florida continuing its run from the first half, thanks in part to a few Georgia turnovers. Florida opened the second half on a 12-4 run to push the lead to 54-34.