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Gators build big lead, defeat Georgia

Florida never trails after an early 13-0 run in a home victory.
Florida coach Mike White, shown in an earlier game this month, says "no lead is safe'' after the Gators had their cushion over Georgia shrink near the end of Saturday's victory.
Florida coach Mike White, shown in an earlier game this month, says "no lead is safe'' after the Gators had their cushion over Georgia shrink near the end of Saturday's victory. [ MICHAEL WOODS | AP ]
Published Feb. 21

GAINESVILLE — Colin Castleton scored 14, Tyree Appleby and Tre Mann each scored 13 and Florida led most of the way in a 70-63 win over Georgia on Saturday afternoon.

The win ended Florida’s two-game losing streak and marked the first win for the Gators (11-6, 7-5 SEC) since Jan. 30. Contests against LSU and Texas A&M were postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.

Florida used an early and decisive 13-0 run to build a 20-8 lead and never trailed again.

Appleby and Mann scored 12 of Florida’s first 20 points. Later, Noah Locke made a 3-pointer with 5:37 left in the first half and Florida bloated its lead to 30-12.

Not until Florida removed its starters did Georgia (13-9, 6-9) draw within single digits. Sahvir Wheeler made a pair of free throws with 1:44 to go to reduce the deficit to 66-58.

The Bulldogs’ trapping defense forced several turnovers leading to easy baskets as they tried to rally.

“Glad we hung on,” Florida coach Mike White said. “All of them are hard to win; you have to remember that. No lead is safe.”

Castlejon shot 5-for-5 off the bench and Ques Glover was 4-for-5 off the bench. The Gators were 22-for-49 shooting and made 20 of 25 free throws.

Wheeler led the Bulldogs with 27 points and Tye Fagan scored 14. Georgia missed 40 of its 64 shots, including 4-for-20 on 3-pointers.

The Bulldogs got 40 points in the paint.

The Gators visit Auburn on Tuesday. The Bulldogs host LSU on Tuesday.