Getting Inside

Florida's worst start in Southeastern Conference play in more than a decade seems now like a distant memory. The Gators (15-5, 4-2 SEC) will take a four-game winning streak into their nationally-televised showdown Sunday at Tennessee.

Florida had started 0-2 in the SEC, its worst start since 1995-96, before its current four-game surge. Florida beat Georgia 87-71 at the O'Connell Center on Wednesday night to extend its win streak to four, its longest since starting the season 8-0.

"It just puts us back in the hunt," Florida freshman guard Kenny Boynton said. "The SEC is up for grabs right now, with Kentucky losing (Tuesday night) to South Carolina. We feel like we're playing pretty well right now but we have to take it into the next game."

Boynton scored 21 points for the Gators in the Georgia win, one of three Florida players to score 20 or more points. Forward Alex Tyus scored a season-high 23 points for the Gators and Erving Walker added 21 points and 10 assists.

Florida rattled Georgia with its press, scoring 33 points off 19 Georgia turnovers.

"Since we started preparing for Georgia we wanted the game to go up and down," walker said. "We wanted to make fatigue a factor. They had a lot of big guys in their frontcourt, and I think we were able to wear them out."


--Sophomore point guard Erving Walker went four for six from 3-point range against Georgia to improve to 23-for-36 from 3-point range in six SEC games. Walker's 21-point, 10-assist night against Georgia was his first career double-double.

--F Alex Tyus' 23 points was two shy of his career-high of 25 points against UMKC on Nov. 30, 2008.

--G Kenny Boynton snapped out of a 1-for-14 shooting funk from 3-point range by going 3-for-5 from 3-point range in the second half.

--C Vernon Macklin scored 12 points. The Gators improved to 10-1 this season when Macklin reaches double-figures


Florida will begin February with a game Feb. 4 at Alabama, pitting UF coach Billy Donovan against his long-time former assistant Anthony Grant. The Gators will play four of its eight games in the month on the road. In the middle of the month is a critical non-conference game Feb. 13 at home against Xavier that could prove important to UF's NCAA Tournament hopes.


"We didn't want to go back to under .500 in the SEC. That's a good South Carolina team over there, especially with Devan Downey, Words can't explain how good of a player he is." -- Florida junior forward Chandler Parsons, on UF's dramatic 58-56 win over the Gamecocks at the O'Connell Center.


--C Kenny Kadji remains out indefinitely with a herniated disc in his lower back. Florida coach Billy Donovan hinted surgery is a strong option if Kadji's back doesn't improve after a third epidural injection.

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