Freshman Nick Calathes led the Gators (21-7, 8-5 SEC) with 22 points, shooting 50 percent from the floor and making 3-of-5 from behind the 3-point line. Overall, the Gators were red-hot from the floor making more than 50 percent of their shots for only the third time away from the O'Dome this season.
Calathes hit his first of three 3s to give Florida a 3-0 lead and the Gators would never trail the rest of the way. Behind the hot shooting of Calathes and Walter Hodge, who went 3-of-4 from the floor for eight first half points, the Gators also got a boost off the bench from Chandler Parsons. Parsons scored seven points in the first 20 minutes and finished the game with nine points.
Florida knocked down 6-of-11 from behind the arc in the first half, but more importantly held the Bulldogs to 0-for-5 from long range. Georgia (12-14, 3-10 SEC) shot just 37 percent, making just 10-of-27 shots in the first half allowing the Gators to take a 45-32 lead at the half.
The Gators maintained their lead for the first three minutes of the second half, but Georgia was able to cut the into the Gator lead. They scored seven points in a span of 82-seconds to cut Florida's lead to 50-41 with 16-37 left. The Gators extended their lead behind layups from Parsons and Calathes and then Jai Lucas knocked down a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 17 points, 59-42, with 11:08 left.
With less than 10 minutes to play, the Gators went on a drought, making just one shot over a four minute span. The Bulldogs cut the lead to 12 points, 65-53, but the Gators were able to make free throws down the stretch to keep the comfortable margin. The Gators knocked down 12-of-17 from the line.
Marreese Speights registered a double-double scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Dan Werner finished with 13 points for Florida. Lucas and Hodge both finished with eight points. Florida dished out 15 assists with both Calathes and Lucas having four apiece.
The Gators return home this weekend for a Saturday afternoon matchup with SEC West leading Mississippi State. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. at the O'Connell Center.
Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski
Calathes Leads Gators to Big Road Win
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