Sunday, February 18, 2018
Sports

Florida beats Georgia for important SEC road win

ATHENS, Ga. — KeVaughn Allen scored 19 and Florida shook off a dismal shooting performance in the first half to beat Georgia 57-53 on Tuesday night in a game that was potentially important for its NCAA Tournament hopes.

Florida (17-9, 8-5 SEC) missed 18 of its first 19 3-pointers but hung around long enough for Allen to get hot. He scored 14 in the second half, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer that put the Gators ahead to stay at 50-47 with 3:25 left. UF trailed 25-19 at halftime.

Kenny Gaines gave Georgia (14-10, 7-6) a chance, sinking two 3s in the final minute. But Florida sealed the victory at the free-throw line, making five of its last six attempts, and Gaines missed a jumper at least 10 feet behind the stripe trying to tie the score with seven seconds left.

With his late flurry, Gaines led Georgia with 12 points.

Florida won just its third road game of the season, and it came at a crucial time. The Gators pulled a game ahead of the Bulldogs — another team with NCAA Tournament aspirations — for fourth place in the conference.

The Gators shot 50 percent overall and from 3-point range (4-for-8) in the second half. UF held the Bulldogs to 32.4 percent shooting (20-of-62) from the field for the game.

NO. 24 TEXAS 85, NO. 10 W. VA. 78: Eric Davis Jr. had 15 points and sparked a flurry of first-half 3-pointers for the host Longhorns, who held off a late rally.

Davis made four 3-pointers in the first half and Texas (17-9, 8-5 Big 12) had 10 in the game in capping a regular-season sweep of the Mountaineers. Texas broke a two-game losing streak.

Texas coach Shaka Smart had implored his team to show more emotion heading in a tough late-season gauntlet against four ranked teams in six games. Davis responded with arguably his best half of the season after scoring seven total in the previous four games.

Isaiah Taylor led Texas with 23 points and seven assists.

Tarik Phillip scored 19 for West Virginia (20-6, 9-4), which fell one game behind No. 2 Kansas in the Big 12.

Jaysean Paige, the Mountaineers' leading scorer at 14.0 points per game, injured an ankle in the first half and never returned.

West Virginia, which trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half, pulled within 77-71 on Jonathan Holton's three-point play with 38 seconds left. Texas put the game away with eight straight free throws.

First-year coach Smart still hasn't lost three straight with the Longhorns. Texas is 5-3 against ranked teams this season, and three of its last five games will come against No. 25 Baylor, Kansas and No. 3 Oklahoma.

NO. 17 PURDUE 71, N'WESTERN 61: A.J. Hammons had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Johnny Hill added a season-high 15 points for the host Boilermakers (21-6, 9-5 Big Ten), who bounced back from Saturday's loss at Michigan.

MISSOURI: Junior guard Wes Clark was dismissed from the team for failing to meet academic expectations.

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