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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hoops blog: Florida at Georgia

End of game, Georgia loses 104-91 in two overtimes

Two dramatic finishes to regulation and then the first overtime only led to an anticlimatic second overtime.

Florida scores the first nine points of the second overtime, led by Chandler Parsons, who also had a key put-back to pretty much cement it later for the Gators.

A tough loss for Georgia, which will wonder why it didn't foul Florida at the end of the first overtime, or get a closer guard on Erving Walker before his game-tying heave.

End of first overtime, Georgia and Florida tied at 85

Wow again.

Jeremy Price had the onions there on the free throw - but so did Florida's Erving Walker on the long 3-pointer.

Hindsight says Georgia should've fouled there. But you can't argue that Walker shouldn't have been left that open.

Still, whatever happens, an absolute classic here at Stegeman tonight.

End of regulation: Georgia ties it at 73

I mean, wow.

I'll admit, I thought Georgia was dead after Gerald Robinson's muffed pass to Trey Thompkins. Florida was up four, there was less than a minute left - but then Florida started missing free throws.

Robinson nails a 3, Erving Walker goes 1-for-2 on the other end, and after Dustin Ware missed a runner, Trey Thompkins put it back.

So we have another five minutes. Free basketball.

6:49 left in second half, Georgia trails 65-58

Florida's Chandler Parsons just missed a 3 that would have extended the lead to 12, and Travis Leslie answered with a banker. That led Mark Fox to call for a timeout, knowing the game is at a critical juncture right now.

Georgia needs to reverse the tide. If not, it will look back on the stretch to open the second half as the decisive moment.

Gerald Robinson has remained ineffective, while Georgia isn't getting the 3-point shooting it got in the first half. The rebounding battle has also edged back to even: Florida's Vernon Macklin has been killing the Bulldogs with put-backs.

11:43 left in second half, Georgia trails 59-52

Georgia simply didn't come out with the same energy it had for most of the second half, and Florida has raced ahead.

Florida is sitting on a seven-point lead, and has a chance to extend that after the break if Vernon Macklin completes the three-point play. Macklin's free throw shooting is about as accurate as BuLLDawg's bowl picks, but still.

The game's not out of reach yet, obviously, but Georgia has to clamp down on the defensive end. The half-court offense has grown sloppy again, but the Bulldogs also aren't getting transition opportunities because they're not stopping Florida much. Those back-to-back 3s by Erik Murphy and Chandler Parsons didn't help.

Oh, and Gerald Robinson hasn't been effective. That has to change for Georgia to have a chance.

Halftime: Georgia leads 41-39

It feels like Georgia should be ahead by more. And not just because a couple of its two-point baskets would've been 3s if players hadn't had their toes on the line.

The Bulldogs are accomplishing what has to be one of their main defensive goals, which is limiting the Gators' 3-point tries. Florida is making up for it by going inside a lot, and the result has been a lot of free throws and unexciting layups.

On offense, Georgia is getting help from a lot of different sources. Gerald Robinson hasn't been heard from since he got his second foul early on, so that's a hopeful sign for the Bulldogs.

It just seems like this should be Georgia's game to win. But it can't let Florida hang around.

7:58 left in first half, Georgia leads 30-22

This one turned around in a pretty quick manner, eh?

Georgia has taken control of the game - we'll see for how long - with a 21-7 run here. Trey Thompkins gets most of the credit, scoring eight in a row at one point. But others have contributed: Dustin Ware with a 3, Jeremy Price with a throw-down dunk to extend the lead to eight.

The crowd reaction to that Price dunk made it as loud at Stegeman as I've ever heard it.

One thing to monitor: Chandler Parsons has been pretty quick for Florida. Expect that to change. But Gerald Robinson (out with two fouls) and Travis Leslie have also taken a back seat so far for Georgia. Expect that to change too.

11:30 left in first half, Florida leads 18-17

The fun battle so far has been Fox and friends – see what I did there? – against the officials. Fox threw off his jacket in the early going, just as he did Saturday against Mississippi State. (He put it on at halftime, then took it off again early in the second half. I expect a repeat tonight.)

The fouls made their disquiet known after Gerald Robinson’s second foul call, as did the Georgia bench – which drew a “bench warning” from official Doug Sirmons during a timeout.

Strangely – or not strangely, because this is how it always works out – the next few calls went Georgia’s way. Of course the first one would’ve been impossible to miss, as Patric Young clobbered Thompkins. The Georgia forward was ticked, and literally had to be restrained by Travis Leslie before he got near Young.

Florida jumped out to a 9-2 lead, as Georgia had four turnovers and four fouls in first five minutes. Just overall sloppy play.

The Bulldogs then rallied to take a brief 17-16 lead, getting help from all corners. Even Vincent Williams, who is averaging 0.7 points this year, nailed a 3.

6:55 p.m.: Almost game time

Officially it's a sellout, though with the early tip a lot of people are late in arriving. But it still looks like it'll be a pretty amped crowd.

Georgia is favored by three, which is basically the difference that Vegas accounts for being at home. So really this is regarded as a toss-up, and I agree. I think it comes down to 3-point defense for Georgia: Hold Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker in check, and it has a good chance to win. If not, then Gerald Robinson, Dustin Ware and company have to match shot for shot, and I don't know that they can do that again.

6:45 p.m.: A little football stuff

Trinton Sturdivant was just made available to the media by UGA, ostensibly to talk about his decision to return for his senior year. I actually spoke to the offensive tackle about that a few weeks ago, so I asked Sturdivant for his reaction to the departure of line coach Stacy Searels to Texas.

“I was a little disappointed at first,” he said. “But I talked to him, and it was a good business move for him. I’m pretty confident coach Richt is going to hire a really good offensive line coach.”

Sturdivant pointed out that he was originally recruited by Neil Calloway, who then left for UAB and was replaced by Searels. He doesn’t expect much to change.

“Coach Richt talked to us about how the calls weren’t going to change. The blocking styles aren’t going to change too much. Only small techniques. Hopefully it won’t be too much of a transition.”

5:45 p.m.: Mr. Blog Man sitteth

The student section is filling up well before game time. Looks like a white-out: They're passing around white shirts, which I didn't get a close look at, but here's guessing it says something like:

"May there be a spirited contest between two great schools in this affair, and at the end the best one emerge victorious."

Actually, after getting off my duff and checking it out, the shirts simply say "4" on front and back. Team spokesman Tim Hix says it's ode to senior Chris Barnes. They're going to do the same for Jeremy Price later this season.

The officials for this game are Doug Sirmons, Mike Nance and John Cahill.

Oh, and the game is on ESPN.


Anonymous said...

I hate sports...

DWH said...

Didn't that team put up about 38 against AU the other day? Figures. It's really been tough to be a UGA fan lately.

Steve said...

Ouch. What a way to lose two big home games.

Just ouch.

Anonymous said...

Seth... I know you do your bubble watch but how much does this loss hurt? Still no great wins and we are .500 in the league with 4 of the 5 east teams still to play on the road. A lot of folks I talked to tonight still feel great about our tourney chances. I'm thinking its an uphill battle after this one. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

damn florida

Anonymous said...

Lats Face it... Florida just has a better overall sports progam than UGA. Why waste our money anymore? We are the worlds best choke artist.

Anonymous said...

If you want to hate the Gators and officials more...find a replay of the Trey put back and watch #23 for the team from Gainesville on Dustin Ware. I wonder if Dustin has whiplash.

Anonymous said...

All of that effort and then the mind-blowing mistake of not fouling with a 3 pt lead and 6 secs on the clock!