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No. 17 Florida pulls away from Georgia for fifth straight win

Florida guard Kasey Hill (0) collides with Georgia guard Jordan Harris (2) as he drives down the court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Athens, Ga. Florida won 72-60. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) GAJB104

Florida guard Kasey Hill (0) collides with Georgia guard Jordan Harris (2) as he drives down the court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Athens, Ga. Florida won 72-60. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) GAJB104

ATHENS, Ga. — Florida hasn't encountered much adversity in its recent run of lopsided wins.

Just when it seemed the 17th-ranked Gators were headed for another rout, they had to respond to a stress test delivered by Georgia.

Chris Chiozza scored 15 and Florida recovered after blowing a 16-point first-half lead to beat the Bulldogs 72-60 Tuesday night and tie for first place in the SEC.

Kasey Hill had 12 points for Florida (19-5, 9-2), which has won five straight. The Gators moved into a first-place tie with South Carolina, which lost to visiting Alabama 90-86 in four overtimes, and No. 15 Kentucky, which beat visiting LSU 92-85.

"Our guys just dug a little deeper and found a way to get things done in the second half," Florida coach Mike White said.

The Gators defense was the difference in the second half, when Georgia was held to 27 points on 8-for-31 shooting from the field.

Forward Justin Leon said the Gators handled the adversity "maturely, like we were supposed to."

The Bulldogs (13-11, 4-7) rallied with a 15-0 run in the first half but couldn't regain that momentum after halftime.

"We just came in at halftime and tried not to focus on the run they had," Chiozza said.

UF hosts Texas A&M at noon Saturday; the game is sold out.

NO. 2 'NOVA 75, G'TOWN 64: Josh Hart scored 25 for the host Wildcats (23-2, 10-2 Big East), who held off a late run. On Monday, the Hoyas were involved in a car crash while traveling to Pennsylvania for the game. There were no major injuries.

N'WESTERN: The team is getting a new practice facility to go with a renovated arena. The facility for men's and women's basketball, volleyball and other programs will feature a fieldhouse with three courts that will be built in a building adjacent to Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill.

Women

UCONN AT 98: Napheesa Collier made all of her 10 shots while scoring 24, and top-ranked UConn rolled to a 96-49 victory over host Cincinnati for its 98th straight win. The Huskies (23-0, 11-0 AAC) host SMU on Saturday and can reach 100 straight wins at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn., on Monday against No. 6 South Carolina.

FOOTBALL: USF formally announced the hiring of former Buccaneer Blue Adams as defensive backs coach, leaving Charlie Strong with two staff vacancies. Adams, who spent last season as cornerbacks coach at West Virginia, replaces fellow Miami native Corey Bell, who departed after less than a month at USF to take the same job at Florida. Adams spent 2012-15 as a Dolphins assistant, the last two as secondary coach.

Times staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report.

No. 17 Florida pulls away from Georgia for fifth straight win 02/07/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 10:35pm]
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