Florida Gators forward Thomas Haugh shoots a free throw Saturday against the Georgia Bulldogs at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens. [Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports]

Florida Men’s Basketball Again Takes Down Georgia

For the 1oth time in a row, the Gators have muzzled the Bulldogs.

The Florida men’s basketball team defeated Georgia 88-82 Saturday at the Stegeman Coliseum in Athens. The Gators (18-7, 8-4 SEC) picked up their seventh win in the last eight games and improved to 16-0 in Quad 2-4 games.

Meanwhile, UGA (14-11, 4-8) stays on a downward spiral after losing its sixth consecutive game.

Once again, Walter Clayton Jr. led the winning effort for the Gators with 21 points, five boards and two assists. Behind him was Thomas Haugh with a season-high 17 points and Zyon Pullin with 16.

Guard Noah Thomasson had a season-high 26 points on 5-11 shooting from beyond the arc for Georgia.

Georgia coach Mike White is 0-4 against his former ball club.

Too Haugh To Handle

Someone who only averages 3.2 points a game, usually is not a huge contributor to the final outcome. But that was not the case Saturday.

While the Bulldogs rushed out to an 11-point lead by making nine out of 10 to start and shooting 60% in the first half, Florida struggled from the jump and was down 22-11. Riley Kugel, Will Richard and Micah Handlogten struggled in the opening half. But Haugh, a freshman, came to the rescue for his struggling team.

Florida Gators forward Thomas Haugh (10) shoots against Georgia Bulldogs guard Silas Demary Jr. (4) during the second half Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens. [Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports]

The New Oxford, Pennsylvania native came off the bench with an ambition to score the basketball. He shot 4-4 from the field, including three 3-pointers that kept the Gators within six at the end of the half, 46-40.

However for the Bulldogs, Thomasson went off by grabbing 17 points in the first half with 70% shooting.

Florida Gators forward Alex Condon (21) is defended by Georgia Bulldogs guard Jabri Abdur-Rahim (1) during the first half at Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday.
[Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports]

Bulldogs Breakdown

After shooting over 50% in the first, you would expect Georgia to keep that somewhat going after halftime? Well …

https://twitter.com/GatorsMBK/status/1758937549836542080

Georgia came out the gates in the second half ice cold. UGA could not buy a field goal if it wanted to as it could not make a basket for over 10 minutes.

The Gators took advantage of the poor shooting, more specially, Richard made the Bulldogs pay. He was able to get to the line and went 5-5 from the charity stripe, which would allow Florida to get back in the game.

However, Georgia kept it close by making free throws of its own, going 15-18. But a rare Alex Condon 3-point make, in addition to Clayton Jr. drawing an off-ball foul, led to a five-point play that extended the Gators’ late lead.

Pullin made sure this lead was kept as he would go 6-6 in the clutch to hold off the hungry Bulldogs.

UF coach Todd Golden and his group now have a serious AP Top-25 bid.

Georgia Bulldogs guard Silas Demary Jr. (4) has his shot attempt blocked by Florida Gators center Micah Handlogten (3) during the first half Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens. [ Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports]

Up Next

The Gators will next hit the hardwood when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to take on the Crimson Tide (18-7, 10-2) on Wednesday. No. 15 Alabama comes off a 100-75 win against the Texas A&M Aggies. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN 2, ESPN Gainesville 98.1-FM/AM-850 WRUF.

 

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