After taking Georgia's best shot, Florida Basketball prevails once again

Florida fell behind by nine points early, but recovered to beat Georgia for the 10th time in a row

Feb 17, 2024; Athens, Georgia, USA; Florida Gators forward Thomas Haugh (10) shoots against Georgia
Feb 17, 2024; Athens, Georgia, USA; Florida Gators forward Thomas Haugh (10) shoots against Georgia / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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One of the themes for Florida Basketball this season has been the fact they are one of the best teams in the country at first half scoring margin, but not so much when it comes to second half scoring margin.

On Saturday in Athens, the Gators opted to try the reverse and the result was a dominate second half that enabled the Gators to beat Georgia for the 10th time in a row and moved Florida to 18-7 overall as a NCAA Tournament bid keeps looking more and more realistic.

Florida Basketball: From The Doghouse To The Penthouse

Todd Golden said after the game that he anticipated Georgia would come out swinging. The Bulldogs were coming off their bye week and given that they had lost five in a row, Saturday's contest represented a last stand of some sorts.

And early on, Georgia simply couldn't miss. The Bulldogs quickly shot out to a nine point lead and ten minutes into the game were on pace to score 120 points.

But even though they were struggling to get stops, Florida never let the game get out of reach and with 8:32 left in the first half, Zyon Pullin hit a three to pull within 31-29 and it felt like Florida had taken the best Georgia had to offer.

Sure enough as is typical for a Mike White squad, Georgia only scored 51 points the remaining 28 minutes.

Along the way Walter Clayton had 21 points, and freshman Thomas Haugh had a career high 17 points as Florida kept chipping away and eventually build a seven point lead with 5:11 left in the game.

As has been the case all season, the Gators never quite got the definitive kill shot to put the game to rest early as Georgia was within three with a minute to go. A clutch offensive rebound from Haugh led to the free throw game and unlike the first time these two teams met this season, Florida was able to avoid a late collapse and emerge with the 88-82 victory.

It will count as a Quad 2 win for the Gators and next up is a chance at another Quad 1 win on the road at Alabama on Wednesday.