On Tuesday night in Athens, the Gators’ backcourt took care of business once again. Florida took down Georgia, 72-60, completing the regular season sweep over the Bulldogs. Chris Chiozza and Kasey Hill were electric, combining for 27 points, six steals, seven assists and only four turnovers. Chiozza individually finished with 15 points and four steals, while Kasey Hill notched 12 points, five assists, two rebounds and two steals. Florida Head Coach Mike White discussed Chris Chiozza’s success as of late after the game.
The Gators have now won four straight games, while the Bulldogs have now dropped five of their last six contests. Canyon Barry finished with 11 points and went 4-4 from the charity stripe. Barry has now knocked down 35 straight free throws without a miss and is two free throws short of Taurean Green’s streak of 37 consecutive made free throws. Following the game, Mike White gave his summary of the contest and added how important of a factor defense was in the victory.
Florida has now won five straight games by double-figures since losing at home to Vanderbilt. Mike White primed to finally reach NCAA's.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 8, 2017
UF forced 16 turnovers in this one, leading to 18 total points. Once again, the Gators were dominant off the bench, outscoring Georgia’s reserves, 31-14. Florida was outrebounded, 45-39, but finished with five more points in the paint. Yante Maten and J.J. Frazier were the Bulldogs’ only real contributors on Tuesday night. Maten ended the contest with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting, while J.J. Frazier scored 18 points while grabbing eight rebounds.
The Gators couldn’t buy a basket to start the game, opening up 0-for-5 from the floor. The Bulldogs took a 5-0 lead after three minutes of play.
After Georgia’s run, Florida went on a quick one of their own, taking an 11-7 lead off of an 11-2 run. Chris Chiozza, Devin Robinson, and Justin Leon led the brigade.
The scoring burst continued as UF took a 19-9 lead with 11:42 left in the first half. Canyon Barry was electric off of the bench, converting on a coast-to-coast steal and layup. Chris Chiozza continued to shine, pouring in five points in only four minutes played with no turnovers.
Justin Leon led the Gators in scoring after the first 11 minutes, converting two of three looks from downtown, good for eight total points. Florida held a 30-14 lead with 8:37 left in the first half, their largest of the first frame up to that point.
Out of nowhere, a 7-0, 44 second run for Georgia would bring the game back within single digits. The stretch diminished Florida’s lead to nine with 7:44 left in the first twenty minutes.
A 15-0 run, featuring over three scoreless minutes for the Gators, brought Georgia within one point of Florida with 5:23 left in the first half. J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten stepped their game up during the stretch and combined for 16 of UGA’s first 29 points.
UF finished the first twenty minutes by sinking one of their last 15 shots. Still, the Gators led 35-33 after the first frame. Yante Maten led all scorers, ending the first half with 10 points, two assists, and one rebound. Justin Leon was the Gators’ highest scorer in the first twenty minutes, ending with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field.
Georgia outshot Florida in the first half, 41 percent to 37 percent, and outrebounded the Gators, 24-19. The Gators also struggled at the charity stripe, going 5-of-8, while the Bulldogs knocked down both of their attempts. UF had zero second-chance points in the first half but recorded eight takeaways leading to nine points.
Florida opened up the second half with KeVaughn Allen on the bench. Allen tweaked his back towards the end of the first half and wasn’t ready to come back in to start the final 20 minutes. The Gators opened the half on a 4-0 run, jumping out to a 39-33 lead with 17:27 left in the game.
Kevarrius Hayes came out with a vengeance in the second frame, totaling four blocked shots with less than five minutes played in the final 20 minutes. Chris Chiozza was the first Gator to 10 points after completing a smooth floater off of a solid jump step.
A 7-0 run gave Florida a 49-39 lead, forcing Mark Fox to take a timeout. During the run, Canyon Barry tied Michael Frazier’s record of 33 straight made free throws after going 2-of-2 at the line with 14:54 left in the game.
With 10 minutes played in the second half, Georgia was shooting just below 25 percent from the floor, while Florida had knocked down 50 percent of their attempts. The Gators led 54-46 with nine minutes left in the contest.
With 4:37 left in the contest, Florida went back up by double-digits, holding a 61-50 lead. In the three minutes and 23 seconds leading up to this point in the game, neither team could score. Florida went 0-of-4 in that stretch while Georgia went 0-of-9.
UF ended the game on an 18-11 run, winning the contest 72-60. The Gators have three days off before taking on Texas A&M in Gainesville at Noon on Saturday.
First time the Florida #Gators have won five straight games by 12 or more since winning 10 straight by 14+ from 12/29/12 to 2/2/13.
— Only Gators .com (@onlygators) February 8, 2017