Allen leads Gators past Bulldogs
ATHENS, Ga. — Florida kept missing.
The Gators never stopped hustling, though.
Finally, a few shots went in — just enough to carry them past Georgia.
Florida (17-9, 8-5 Southeastern Conference) missed 18 of its first 19 3-point attempts but managed to hang around long enough for Allen to get hot. The freshman guard scored 14 points in the second half, including a tiebreaking shot beyond the arc that put the Gators ahead to stay at 50-47 with 3:25 remaining.
"It's amazing," said John Egbunu, the only other Florida player in double figures with 10 points. "He takes big shots. He takes really tough ones, and he still hits."
The Gators picked up its second SEC road victory. Both times, Allen has come up big, scoring 27 in a win at Ole Miss last month.
This one was especially crucial with Florida coming off a 61-55 loss at home to Alabama.
"We couldn't rely on our shooting to win this game," Allen said, "but defensively we did a good job locking down and staying focused."
Kenny Gaines gave Georgia (14-10, 7-6) a chance, knocking down a pair of 3s in the final minute. But Florida sealed the victory at the free-throw line, making five of its last six attempts, and Gaines missed a jumper at least 10 feet behind the stripe in a futile bid to tie the score with 7 seconds remaining.
With his late flurry, Gaines wound up leading Georgia with 12 points.
Yante Maten, coming off a career-best 25 points in a win at Mississippi State, was held to 11 on 4-of-17 shooting.
"Basketball is a game of runs," Maten said. "I knew they were going to try and punch. We needed to be ready to fight back and we didn't fight back like we needed to."
Georgia led 25-19 at the half after a gruesome display of offensive basketball by both teams.
The Bulldogs shot just 32 percent in the opening period, but Florida was even worse. The Gators went 1 of 17 from 3-point range, connected on a mere 24 percent overall and managed one point over the final 8:13, missing their final 11 shots.
Georgia pushed out to a seven-point lead early in the second half before the Gators finally got going. Allen hit a pair of 3s, and Robinson also knocked down a jumper beyond the arc.
It was part of a 15-5 spurt that gave Florida a 41-38 lead with 8 1-2 minutes remaining.
Georgia fought back, scoring the next six points, but the Bulldogs went really cold down the stretch. Gaines connected three times from 3-point range; his teammates combined to miss their final eight shots.
The Bulldogs shot just 32 percent overall (20 of 62). Compounding their woes, they failed to get into the bonus in either half, finishing 5 of 8 at the free-throw line. Florida was 12 of 21.
Florida did a good job taking care of the ball, which allowed the Gators to stay in the game even when they were struggling to make shots.
They finished with just six turnovers — three in each half.
That matched a season low.
Florida: Finished 5 of 25 from 3-point range, making four of their last six attempts. ... Swept the season series with Georgia, after winning in Gainesville 77-63 on Jan. 2.
Georgia: Former Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley watched the game from a front-row seat. The NFL rookie of the year received a standing ovation when introduced to the crowd during a break in the first half. ... Nine of the team's first 18 points came from Derek Ogbeide, Kenny Paul Geno and Houston Kessler, who entered the game combining for an average of 8.8. ... J.J. Frazier had 10 points.
Florida visits South Carolina on Saturday.
Georgia travels to Vanderbilt on Saturday.