Georgia (18-8) at Florida (21-5)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Gainesville, FL
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Thu Feb 24, 2011
  • *Florida
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Despite the absence of one of its best players, Florida surpassed 10 conference wins for the first time in four seasons its last time out and finds itself on the verge of its longest winning streak of 2010-11.

Looking for a season-best sixth consecutive win, the 13th-ranked Gators will try for a ninth consecutive home victory against SEC rival Georgia on Thursday night.

With Chandler Parsons on the sidelines, Florida (21-5, 10-2) took a 40-25 lead into halftime at LSU but saw its lead cut to six with under 2 minutes remaining Sunday.

However, the Gators, who have made just 66.2 percent of their free-throw attempts, went 6 of 6 from the line to close out the 68-61 victory.

Florida recorded double-digit conference wins for the first time since going 13-3 in 2006-07, when it won the SEC championship and the second of back-to-back national titles.

Coach Billy Donovan’s team stands alone atop the East Division.

“It means a lot, that was one of the main goals for us coming into this year was to win an SEC title,” said junior guard Erving Walker, averaging 19.3 points on 53.6 percent shooting in his last three games. “Each win we get is moving us one step closer to that goal but we just gotta keep working hard and not get complacent and keep getting wins.”

Walker recorded his second-highest scoring output of the season with 24 points in a 104-91 double-overtime win Jan. 25 at Georgia, while Parsons had 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Parsons, averaging team bests with 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists, suffered a thigh bruise in a 61-60 win over Tennessee on Feb. 12 and his status for this game is uncertain.

Florida outrebounded LSU by 12 thanks in part to a combined 16 boards from seniors Alex Tyus and Vernon Macklin.

“We just have to keep playing and practicing hard,” said Macklin, who also added 16 points. “If we let our practice carry over to our games, we’ll be fine from here on out.”

Florida had taken 11 straight overall from Georgia (18-8, 7-5) before splitting the last four matchups. The Gators have won the last eight home meetings by an average of 14.2 points.

After winning 12 of 14, Georgia has split its last 12 and snapped a nine-game losing streak at Tennessee with a 69-63 victory Saturday.

Jeremy Price, averaging 9.3 points, scored 20 and Travis Leslie had 15.

Trey Thompkins leads the team with 16.0 points per game but was held to 11 on 4-of-14 shooting. He has scored 19 points on 25.0 percent shooting in his last two games.

Thompkins is averaging 21.3 points in his last three games against Florida.

Georgia, 1-4 against Top 25 teams, has won three straight on the road and is 4-2 as the visiting team in conference play after going 4-28 over the previous four seasons.

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Thursday, Feb 24