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Florida 77, Georgia 44

The SportsXchange

GAINESVILLE -- With defensive intensity and some timely 3-point shooting, Florida had few anxious moments in its SEC opener against Georgia.

Mike Rosario led four Florida scorers in double figures, lifting the No. 11 Gators (11-2, 1-0 SEC) to a 77-44 win over Georgia.

Erik Murphy, playing through a broken rib, added 11 points for the Gators. Patric Young scored 11 points and Casey Prather had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Georgia (6-8, 0-1 SEC) had its modest four-game winning streak snapped. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Bulldogs with 11 points.

Florida, which came into the game fourth in scoring defense at 52.7 points per game, held an opponent to under 50 points for the seventh time in 13 games this season. Offensively, the Gators shot 52.7 percent from the floor and 46.2 percent (12-for-26) from 3-point range.

Florida ended any chance of a Georgia comeback with five straight 3-pointers during a second-half stretch. Two came from UF freshman Michael Frazier, who finished with six points off the bench. Frazier's 3-pointer from the corner that rattled in-and-out put UF ahead 53-26 with 11:26 remaining.

Florida opened the game with an 11-0 run. Prather scored UF's first six points with a putback, a mid-range jumper and a dunk following a steal off the press. Mike Rosario followed with a driving baseline layup, then Erik Murphy hit a 3-pointer to extend UF's lead to 11-0.

Murphy's second 3-pointer of the first half put Florida ahead 19-4 before Georgia worked its way back. Caldwell-Pope scored five straight points for the Bulldogs, and a Djurisic inside basket cut UF's lead to 24-13. But Florida junior center Patric Young ended the run with a hook shot. Frazier then found a wide-open Murphy inside to extend UF's lead to 28-15 at halftime.

Defensively, Florida held Georgia to 38.5 percent (5-for-13) shooting in the first half and forced 11 turnovers. The Gators scored 14 points off turnovers. Rosario scored nine points in the first half and Murphy added eight points.

Florida shot 12-for-25 from field (48 percent) and 4-for-12 from 3-point range (33 percent) in the first half. Murphy had two of UF's four first-half 3-pointers.

NOTES: Prather made his first start of the season . . . Florida played its first home game since an 82-43 win over Southeastern Louisiana on Dec. 19.
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