ATHENS, Ga. -- Junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin matched a career-high with 17 points, lifting No. 8 Florida to a 64-47 win over Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum on Wednesday. Senior Kenny Boynton added 14 points and Erik Murphy scored all 13 of his points in the second half, helping the Gators (15-2, 5-0 SEC) overcome a three-point halftime deficit. Sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led Georgia (7-11, 1-4 SEC) with 16 points. Down 27-24 at halftime, Florida opened the second half with a 13-2 run, going ahead 37-29 on a 3-pointer from Boynton. From there, Florida maintained its defensive intensity while building its lead. The Gators held Georgia to just four points through the first 10 minutes of the second half. Florida, which came into the game ranked third nationally in scoring defense at 51.7 points per game, held an opponent under 50 points for the ninth time this season. Georgia rode the momentum of its home crowd early, jumping to a quick 11-2 lead. The run featured 3-pointers from both Caldwell-Pope and Nemanja Djurisic. But the Gators answered with a quick 6-0 run. Back-to-back steals by Will Yeguete led to transition buckets from Boynton and Wilbekin. Wilbekin then hit a runner in the lane to cut Georgia's lead to 11-10. A 3-pointer from Georgia freshman Charles Mann put the Bulldogs up 21-16. But Florida answered with a quick 5-0 run on a Wilbekin 3-pointer and Boynton layup off a steal in the press to tie the score at 21. A bank shot from Yeguete tied the score at 24 with 1:23 remaining. But at the halftime buzzer, Caldwell-Pope hit a 22-foot 3-pointer from the right corner, putting Georgia up 27-24. Georgia went 6-for-11 from 3-point range in the first half. Florida was just 1-of-8. Wilbekin scored 13 of Florida's 24 points in the first half. It was the first time Florida trailed at the half since being down 33-23 at halftime in a 67-61 loss to Kansas State. NOTES: Florida junior forward Casey Prather missed his third straight game with a high ankle sprain . . . Wilbekin also scored 17 points last Nov. 23 against Central Florida.
- Sports & Recreation
- Kenny Boynton