Florida beats Georgia 90-72

ATHENS - The University of Georgia men's basketball team (10-4, 0-1 SEC) fell to Florida (14-0, 1-0 SEC) at Stegeman Coliseum Saturday afternoon by a score of 90-72 in its Southeastern Conference opener. Three Bulldogs put up double-digit scoring performances but the Gator offense, led by Joakim Noah's 24 points, was too much for the Dogs to overcome. Senior Steve Newman led all Georgia scorers with 15 points on 6-10 shooting, going 3-5 from three-point range.

"We really made some mistakes in the second half," said Georgia head coach Dennis Felton. "We left (Lee) Humphrey open too many times and we gave them some easy baskets in transition. They came out and scored 13 points in the first two minutes of the second half which really hurt us."

Georgia kept the game tight through the entire first half, twice gaining a one-point lead. The Georgia offense showed flashes of its potential, at one point going on a 12-0 run that spanned 4:52 and gave Georgia one of it's leads at 17-16. Later in the half, freshman Terrance Woodbury tied the game at 30 apiece with 2:54 left in the half, but Florida ended the frame on an 8-3 run to take a 38-33 lead into halftime.

"Everyone can see that Woodbury means a lot to this team," said Felton. "Hopefully he can continue to get stronger and stay healthy for us. He has some great qualities that can help us and he can score in a variety of ways."

Florida came out in the second half and extended its lead to eight when Lee Humphrey pulled off the old-fashioned three-point play with a layup and a made foul shot, then came back down the floor and knocked down a three on the very next possession. A Steve Newman layup cut the lead to nine, but another Humphrey three-pointer put the Florida lead back into double-digits, where it would stay for the remainder of the game. Georgia cut the edge to 10 points several times but could not pull the game any closer.

"We certainly talked about not giving Humphrey any quality looks," said Felton. "It's hard to understand why he was able to get so many open shots."

"My biggest concern now is that we continue to learn, mature and toughen up," said Felton. "We need to play through adversity better, have better poise and play with confidence."

Sophomore guard Sundiata Gaines and Woodbury both finished with 14 points in addition to Newman's 15. The rebounding edge in the game went to Florida, 37-34, with Al Horford picking up 11 boards to go with his 15 points for a double-double.

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