The Gators moved to 1-0 in conference play today with an impressive 67-51 win over East rival Georgia. The Gators are now 14-2 on the season, and have won 7 straight games.
This was a game of two different halves. The Gators took a pretty big lead in the first half - 24-17 - but could not score another field goal for the remainder of half, allowing the Bulldogs to take a 26-25 lead into the locker room.
The 2nd half was all-Gators, as Florida outscored Georgia 42-25 to win the game by 16 points. The biggest factor in the Gators second frame dominance was the emergence of an inside game - with Joakim Noah, Chris Richard and Al Horford combining for 18 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks in the half. The stat line showed how important this dominance inside was, as the Gators outscored the Bulldogs 40-23 in the paint overall.
The story of this game was the Gators defense, who held a Georgia team that averaged near 84 points per game to their lowest total of the season, 51, only allowing the Bulldogs to shoot 38% from the line. The Gators also forced 22 Georgia turnovers, scoring 20 points off of them.
Points in Paint: Gators 40-Bulldogs 23
Points off TOs: Gators 20-Bulldogs 8
Bench Points: Bulldogs 22-Gators 4
Corey Brewer: 19 pts, 10 rebs, 7 assts, 4 steals
Joakim Noah: 13 pts, 13 rebs
Looking at the notables, Corey Brewer was amazing and yet another double-double performance out of Joakim Noah. One thing the Gators MUST improve on is their bench points, something that has been somewhat of a concern all season. Having no bench obviously equals having no depth, and depth is so-important in college basketball where your star players could get into foul trouble in no time.
Good start to conference play for the Gators.