The long journey of senior Dan Werner came to an end Saturday evening in Athens, Georgia when his attempted shot/pass was swatted out of bounds and Florida lost to Georgia 78-76. The loss puts Florida (20-9, 9-5 SEC) 4th in the SEC East. It also makes the final stretch of Vanderbilt and Kentucky and securing an NCAA bid that much harder.
With 13:30 left, Florida was down 60-45, but rallied to make it 78-76 with 1:42 left. After great defensive stands by the Bulldogs (13-14, 5-9) and Gators, Florida had the ball with 13 seconds left. With Erving Walker (7pts, 2-9 shooting) and Chandler Parsons (29pts, 10-16 shooting) covered, Parsons found a wide open Dan Werner on the right wing about 17 feet away from the hoop. Werner hesitated, left his feet not knowing to shoot or pass, and his half shot/half pass was put into the first row. Werner finished with 4 points on 2-8 shooting.
Parsons was a man amongst boys, as the Gators could never support him until the mad dash rally late. Kenny Boynton scored 22 (8-13 shooting) and Vernon Macklin got 10 (5-8) but could not pull down late rebounds. Alex Tyus did not score.
Georgia's man on the floor, Trey Thompkins, scored 20 points and was generally a monster. He had seven rebounds, five assists and made both of his threes. The Dogs shot 57% and made 7-13 three-pointers. The Gators could not get inside, resulting in 23 three-point attempts, making 11.
The Gators face Vandy (22-6, 11-3) in Gainesville on Tuesday night.