Thursday, April 19, 2018
Sports

No. 7 Florida beats Georgia 72-50 for record 25th straight home win

GAINESVILLE — With just less than seven minutes remaining in Tuesday night's game between No. 7 Florida and Georgia, Gators coach Billy Donovan called timeout to shake up sophomore guard Michael Frazier.

The former Plant High standout was 1-of-7 from 3-point range, and although the Gators had a substantial lead, Donovan wanted more from his best shooter. Whatever he said, it worked.

Frazier returned and hit back-to-back 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 21 points to help the Gators to a 72-50 win over the Bulldogs in front of 12,051 at the O'Connell Center.

"It feels good to get hot like that, catch fire, and my teammates had great confidence in me," Frazier said. "The coaches told me to keep shooting."

The victory was the 25th straight at home for Florida — the third-longest active streak in the nation — breaking the school record set by the national title teams between 2006 and 2007.

"The guys that won that many in a row obviously did some really special things," Donovan said. "These guys haven't won national championships, but they've done some special things as well, and I'm proud of them. I think anytime you can do something for the first time in school history, it's always nice."

Center Patric Young said of the record: "Hopefully it stays here for another 100 years or however long Florida is around."

Florida (14-2, 3-0 SEC) led 36-16 at halftime, having shot 50 percent from the field and outscoring the Bulldogs 24-10 in the paint. But Florida's offense went stagnant for the first part of the second half, hitting just two field goals in the first 10:20 of the half.

Georgia (8-7, 2-1) pulled within 45-31, but the Gators answered with a 10-1 run. Florida's press caused Georgia trouble, particularly throughout the first half when the Bulldogs had 12 of their 15 turnovers.

Georgia guard Charles Mann, the reigning SEC player of the week, had scored a combined 40 in the Bulldogs' first two SEC games but had just eight on 3-of-7 shooting Tuesday.

"For most of the second half we didn't turn the ball over, but we were so, so rattled in the first half against the press," Georgia coach Mark Fox said. "We just talked about playing with more composure and more poise."

Florida senior forward Will Yeguete had a season-high 12 points, and the Gators hit a season-high 11 3-pointers, led by Frazier.

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]

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