Georgia ends Florida’s 24-game SEC win streak, 73-61
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Marcus Thornton and Kenny Gaines scored 16 points apiece and Georgia, which never trailed, beat Florida 73-61 on Saturday to end the Gators’ streak of 24 straight wins in the Southeastern Conference.
Georgia (11-5, 2-2 SEC) scored the first 12 points. Florida cut the deficit to two points early in the second half but couldn’t complete the comeback.
Florida (10-7, 3-1) had not lost in the SEC since falling to Mississippi in the 2013 SEC tournament championship game. The Gators were a perfect 18-0 in the SEC in 2014 before winning the conference tournament and then winning their first three SEC games this season.
Devin Robinson and Dorian Finney-Smith both had 11 points for Florida. Michael Frazier II had 10.
The Gators were playing on short rest after they never trailed in an easy 75-55 home win over Auburn on Thursday night. The team practiced on Friday before traveling by bus to Athens.
J.J. Frazier, who had 11 points, sank two 3-pointers and Gaines added another 3 as Georgia raced to the 12-0 start. Florida’s first basket came on a layup by Jacob Kurtz almost five minutes into the game.
Georgia’s big lead of the half was 15 points, the last time at 21-6, but Florida chipped away with its press and ability to score inside. The Gators cut the lead to 36-31 at halftime.
Robinson opened the second half with a 3-pointer that cut Georgia’s lead to two points, but the Bulldogs didn’t falter. Back-to-back baskets by Thornton and Cameron Forte pushed the lead back to double figures at 50-40. J.J. Frazier’s 3-pointer gave Georgia a 54-41 advantage, prompting Florida coach Billy Donovan to call timeout.
Georgia, which had 10 points from Charles Mann, kept the lead in double figures the remainder of the game.
It was the second straight SEC win for the Bulldogs following a 0-2 start.
Florida: Michael Frazier II tied a school record by hitting a 3-pointer in his 39th consecutive game. He sank his first 3-pointer about three minutes into the second half and added another about two minutes later. Lee Humphrey had a 39-game streak in 2006-07.
Georgia: The game was a sellout at 10,523. Forward Yante Maten (concussion) and guard Juwan Parker (Achilles tendon) returned after missing one game. Sophomore Houston Kessler sank a 3-pointer in the first half, his first of the season and second of his career.
Florida hosts LSU on Tuesday.
Georgia hosts Mississippi on Tuesday.