Coaches always say it’s about who finishes the game, not who starts it. For the Florida Gators, that mantra rang true, as Canyon Barry (27 points) and Keith Stone (17 points) combined for 44 of UF’s 80 points off the bench in an 80-76 win over the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon in overtime. Barry has now scored at least 15 points in five of his last eight games, while Stone scored at least 14 points for the second straight contest. The Gators’ reserves outscored their starters, 51-29, as Kasey Hill (11 points) finished as the only Florida starter in double-digit scoring. Coach Mike White, following the game, praised Stone’s and Barry’s strong play down the stretch, and noted how effective the crowd was in helping the team. He also talked about the starting lineup, and how whether or not Barry starts, he plays starter minutes.
Florida comes back to beat Georgia in overtime. Gators continue to trend upwards under Mike White. Very solid, sound basketball team.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 14, 2017
Georgia’s combination of J.J. Frazier and Juwan Parker contributed enough firepower to almost down Florida, as Frazier scored 25 points and Parker scored 17. The Bulldogs didn’t have Yante Maten for the final 8:52 of the game, as he picked up his fifth foul of the contest with 3:52 left in the second half. Maten, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder finished with 15 points, four rebounds and six turnovers in only 19 minutes played. It was the first time this season that Maten played less than 21 minutes in a game. Mike White discussed in his post-game conference how effective Maten was when he was in the game.
Georgia outrebounded Florida, as expected, 41-32, but only scored 10 second-chance points. The Gators forced 18 turnovers for the second straight game, scoring 22 points off of the ‘Dawgs’ giveaways. Florida only led the game for 7:49, while Georgia was ahead for a touch over 35 minutes. Coach White said the team had their worst practice on Monday in over a month, but were able to get the victory in the end.
Georgia started the game off on an 8-2 run, knocking down three of their first four shots. The Gators looked half asleep at tip-off, allowing the Bulldogs to get the early edge.
The game progressed slowly, with Georgia leading 11-10 with 10:41 left in the first half. Both teams shot under 37 percent up until this point in the game. The stalemate came from poor interior play from UF and constant turnovers by UGA.
A 6-0 run combined with Florida’s inability to hit a field goal for over three-and-a-half minutes gave the Bulldogs a 24-17 lead over the Gators with just under six minutes left in the first twenty minutes of play. KeVaughn Allen picked up his second foul midway through the first half and was forced to sit for much of the scoreless stretch.
A 6-0 run brought Florida back within one point of Georgia with three-and-a-half minutes left in the first frame. Less than 17 minutes into the game the Bulldogs had already committed 11 turnovers.
After a few poor possessions by both squads, Canyon Barry completed a four-point play that got the O’Connell Center rocking. The circus shot and free throw brought UF back within two points with under two minutes remaining in the first half.
On UF’s final possession of the first half, Keith Stone knocked down a contested three-pointer with nine seconds left. Florida went into their locker room down one point, despite shooting seven percent worse than Georgia in the first half.
Canyon Barry led both teams in scoring with 12 points at the half, while J.J. Frazier led his respective squad with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. The Bulldogs committed 10 turnovers in the first frame, but the Gators only converted the giveaways into eight total points.
As expected, Georgia outrebounded Florida in the first twenty minutes, 19-12, and 6-2 on the offensive glass. Thanks again to Canyon Barry, the Gators outscored the Bulldogs’ bench, 18-3. UGA also led UF the entire half after taking a 4-0 lead to start the game.
Kasey Hill opened the second half for the Gators with a floater in the key. The shot gave UF their first lead of the game.
After Hill’s basket, Georgia started hitting their stride in the paint, jumpstarting a 9-0, 2:16 run. The stretch gave them a 42-34 lead with 16:49 left in the game, which forced Mike White to take an early timeout.
Yante Maten picked up his third personal foul of the game on a Keith Stone three-pointer with 13:20 left in the game. Stone knocked down all three free throws to bring Florida back within three points.
Just one short minute later, Maten picked up his fourth foul of the game and was replaced by Derek Ogbeide. Canyon Barry scored seven straight points following the foul on a three-pointer and a four-point play, his second of the day. Barry’s run gave Florida a one-point lead with 11:22 left in the contest.
With 3:52 left in the game, Yante Maten picked up his fifth foul of the game, fouling out with 15 points, four rebounds and six turnovers. The foul sent Kasey Hill to the charity stripe, where he knocked down both free throws, diminishing UGA’s lead to three points.
With 24.8 seconds left in the game, Kasey Hill stole the ball at Georgia’s free throw line and took the ball coast-to-coast before getting fouled coming into the basket. Hill only hit one of two free throws, but Florida recovered the loose ball after the missed shot.
Once again, Kasey Hill was fouled, this time driving to the basket, and went to the line to shoot two. The senior guard drilled the first, but missed the second, leaving a tie game with 6.5 seconds left. J.J. Frazier took the ball down the floor, but couldn’t nail the double-teamed three-pointer sending the game into overtime.
The overtime portion of the game was a back and forth contest, with neither team leading by more than three points until there was only 5.8 seconds left. At that point, Florida took a four-point lead, giving them the victory, 80-76, over the Georgia Bulldogs.
The Gators have won seven straight and will have their first Wednesday game of the year coming up, as they take on South Carolina at 6:30 p.m. in Columbia. The Gamecocks are one of the better teams in the SEC this year and have gone 3-0 in conference play.