IT WAS OVER WHEN: Florida couldn’t finish their opportunities at the free throw line. The Gators only sunk 59% of their free throw attempts, including hitting only 1-of-6 to begin overtime, the team’s lowest clip at the charity stripe since January 27 vs. Baylor.
THEY STOLE THE SHOW: Yante Maten was unstoppable as usual for the Georgia Bulldogs. Maten ended the night with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds. The senior forward from Pontiac, Michigan now has 10 double-doubles on the season.
Egor Koulechov (19) and KeVaughn Allen (19) were two of the few bright spots on Wednesday night. The pair went for 38 total points on 11-22 shooting from the field. They also knocked down a combined 6-of-11 three-pointers. The rest of the Gators went a combined 11-for-36 (30.6%) from the field.
Michael Okauru was the third and final bright spot on the night. The freshman notched double-digit scoring (14) on 5-of-6 shooting from the field. He also hit two of his three attempts from long-range. The occasion marked only the third time this season that Okauru has scored 10 or more points. The last time he did it was November 23 vs. Stanford in the PK80 Tournament.
THESE STATS DON’T LIE: For only the fifth time this season, the Gators lost a game in which they hit 8 or more three-pointers. They’re now 12-5 on the season in those contests.
Jalen Hudson was held scoreless for the first time since March 2, 2016 when he was still a Virginia Tech Hokie. The transfer went 0-for-3 from the floor, 0-for-2 from beyond the arc and 0-for-2 at the free throw line. He also fouled out after only 22 minutes of play. It was not a night to remember for Hudson.
Chris Chiozza was 2-of-14 (14.3%) from the field and missed both of his free throw attempts. It was his worst shooting performance since December 4 against Florida State when the senior went 0-for-5 from the floor.
WHAT A PLAY: KeVaughn Allen’s crossover, step-back combination leading to a three-pointer about midway through the second half was reminiscent of Allen’s play a season ago. The scoring touch has always been there, it just seems to be about confidence at this point. He had plenty of it on Wednesday night.
BOTTOM LINE: The Gators committed 7 of their 10 total turnovers in the second half. In that period, UGA outscored UF, 32-25. The Bulldogs have now outscored the Gators in the second halves of their last two meetings by 14 points. Florida’s offense went stagnant down the stretch, going eight minutes between buckets, and turned into a lot of long possessions with poor shot selection as time was winding down. The Gators have struggled against defenses that clamp down on you late in the game. This was one of those contests.
UP NEXT: Florida has two days off before traveling to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores (10-6, 4-9) on Saturday, February 17 at 4 p.m. The Gators won the first matchup between these two teams, 81-74, on December 30. The Commodores are coming off of an 81-80 win over Mississippi State in which Riley LaChance hit a game-winning three-pointer against the Bulldogs.
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