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February 9, 2008
Gators too much for Dawgs
GAINESVILLE, Fla.(AP) Chandler Parsons came off the bench to hit his first six shots and finish with 18 points Saturday, helping Florida bounce back from a pair of blowout losses with a 77-67 victory over Georgia.
Taking up the slack with the Gators' top offensive players - Nick Calathes and Marreese Speights - struggling, Parsons went 6-for-9 and was the main reason Florida (19-5, 6-3 Southeastern Conference) outscored Georgia's reserves 27-0.
Walter Hodge scored 14 and Jai Lucas added 11 for the Gators, who broke the game open during a 15-2 run in which Calathes, a freshman averaging 15.7 points, and Speights, scoring nearly 20 in his previous five games, finally made a contribution on the offensive end.
Speights delivered baskets on successive possessions to give Florida a 63-53 lead. Calathes made his first field goal - a long 3-pointer - to finish the decisive surge that put the Gators up 68-53 with 8:19 to go.
Georgia (11-10, 2-6) played without second-leading scorer Billy Humphrey, who is serving a three-game suspension after being arrested for underage drinking. He was replaced by freshman guard Zac Swansey, who had 4 points on 2-for-5 shooting in his first college start.
Parsons scored 10 during a 15-4 run Florida put together late in the first half, beginning the spurt with a jumper and finishing it with a 3-point play that gave the Gators a 43-34 edge. Georgia trailed by 7 at halftime and stayed close until Florida pulled away for good in the last 13 minutes.
Sundiata Gaines led Georgia, which has lost five straight, with a career-high 32 points. He made 11 of 20 shots, including 6 of 10 3-point attempts, and was joined in double figures by Dave Bliss with 13 and Terrance Woodbury with 12.
Florida rebounded from lopsided losses to Arkansas (80-61) and Tennessee (104-82) that dropped the two-time defending national champions back out of the Top 25. The Gators improved to 14-1 at home and have beaten Georgia nine consecutive times dating to 2004.
Calathes finished with 7 points on 1-for-7 shooting. Speights had 6 points and 10 rebounds.