No. 5 Florida pounds Dawgs

ATHENS – Georgia's 90-72 loss to No. 5 Florida on Saturday afternoon wasn't as bad as it looked. It was much worse.

The Bulldogs proved they could compete with one of the nation's hottest teams in the first half and then simply didn't in the second half. Georgia (10-4, 0-1) kept the game even for the first 17 minutes but was outscored 9-2 by Gator guard Lee Humphrey in the first 1:16 of the second half and never threatened again.

"We certainly didn't play the way we needed to play with enough consistency," Bulldog coach Dennis Felton said. "We'll easily be able to look at some stretches that cost us. It's signs of a highly immature team going against one of the country's best. When we had a little bad stretch, we reverted back to some real immaturity."

More than 9,000 fans showed up for the game but a healthy percentage of them were Gator partisans who chanted "Blue… Orange," "It's great to be a Florida Gator," and "Just like football," throughout the final minutes of the game. Florida's football team beat the Bulldogs 14-10 this year in Jacksonville.

"We pretty much let Florida come on our home floor and do what they wanted," Georgia guard Sundiata Gaines said. "That's disappointing."

To no one's surprise, the Gators (14-0) whipped Georgia in the paint, outscoring the Bulldogs 32-20 from close range. Florida sophomore Joakim Noah led all scorers with 24 points and 14 of those came on layups or dunks

The surprise was how poorly the Bulldogs played defense on the perimeter. Georgia is heavy on guard talent and Felton is a defensive task master, but the Gators shot 53 percent from behind the 3-point line. Humphrey, the SEC's leading 3-point shooter, was rarely contested behind the line and hit five of his 10 attempts.

Most of Humphrey's baskets came after the Bulldogs played the same high ball screen the wrong way time after time. The lapses left Felton nearly speechless.

"Sometimes…," he said, shaking his head. "Young guys, they are unbelievable. We didn't want (Humphrey) to get any quality looks, and for him to get 10 is hard to understand."

Humphrey finished with 18, and point guard Taurean Green added 21 for Florida, which had 20 assists and extended its best start in school history.

Georgia was led by Steve Newman's15 points, but the real bright spot offensively was freshman Terrance Woodbury, who returned to action after a 10-game layoff and scored 14 points in 20 minutes.

"You can see that he can really, really help our team," Felton said.

Woodbury started two of Georgia's first three games but sprained his left MCL during the Eastern Kentucky game and hadn't played since. He was very sharp in his return, hitting 4-of-6 shots.

"I was always getting up shots throughout the practices," he said. "I didn't know it was going to come out like that, but it feels good."

Woodbury scored 10 of his points in the first half, and Georgia had fashioned a 30-30 tie with less than three minutes remaining in the first half.

The road doesn't get any easier for the Bulldogs, who take on Tennessee (9-1) in Knoxville on Wednesday. Georgia had hoped to prove that the 10 wins it rolled up in non-conference action weren't a fluke, but there's still work to do in that area after the 18-point defeat, its worst loss since Feb. 26.

"I don't know if confidence is my biggest concern," Felton said. "My biggest concern is that we mature, we learn and we toughen up."

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