A furious Georgia rally to force overtime tonight in Gainesville paid off big, with the perennially hapless Bulldogs notching only their second win in eight outings, 72-69.
An 11-1 Bulldog run pulled the ‘Dawgs within two in the final minutes before Florida pulled out to a five point lead. But the Hoop Hounds refused to go away, and back-to-back Yante Maten 3’s in the waning moments sent it to overtime.
That’s where Tyree Crump took over. The sophomore finished the night with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. But he did much of his damage outside regulation, including an ice cold 3 pointer to put the ‘Dawgs up 66-60.
Yante Maten notched another double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Rayshaun Hammonds, Juwan Parker, and Derek Ogbeide also hit double figures on the night. Georgia lost the turnover battle 14-10, and allowed the Gators to shoot over 40% from 3 point range. In the end the ‘Dawgs appeared to hold a commanding advantage in pixie dust.
"There wasn’t any magic." Coach Fox countered, reflecting on his team’s comeback after the game, "We just wanted to keep competing."
"Our defense had really disappeared on us the last three games", he also admitted. But especially in the second half the Red and Black managed to play physical defense against a talented Gator squad. Georgia held the Gators scoreless for over seven minutes in the second half, and that effort created enough of a window to turn things around.
Florida, up by as many as 11 in the second half, ultimately lost at home to Georgia for the first time since 2002, and was swept in the season series against UGA for the first time since 1996-97.
The Fightin’ Mark Foxes will return to action Saturday against Tennessee.