Wednesday , Mar , 01 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Gators attempt to stop the bleeding against Bulldogs

(Sports Network) – For the second time this season, the Georgia Bulldogs and
17th- ranked Florida Gators will meet in SEC action. Georgia is coming off an
83-68 loss at Mississippi State on Saturday, the fourth defeat for the club
in the last five games. The Bulldogs are a solid 15-12 overall, but that
mark is overshadowed by a 5-9 record against league competition. They also
carry a 3-6 record in true road games into tonight’s clash. As for
Florida, it has suffered three straight defeats to fall to 8-6 in SEC
action, a mark that isn’t nearly as impressive as the club’s 22-6 overall
record. The most recent defeat occurred on Sunday, an 82-77 loss at Alabama.
Fortunately, the Gators do carry a 15-2 home record into this contest.
Florida rolled to a 90-72 victory over Georgia nearly two months ago, and
that win gave the Gators a 95-94 edge in the all-time series between the
rivals. The Bulldogs have lost the last four meetings between the teams.

Nothing seemed to go right for Georgia in the lopsided loss to Mississippi
State last time out. Georgia connected on only 35.7 percent of its field goal
attempts while surrendering 58.2 percent shooting to its opponent. A 48-31
rebounding deficit certainly didn’t help matters, and neither did a 16-7
deficit in points from the foul line. Levi Stukes led the way in defeat with
17 points, while Sundiata Gaines and Channing Toney pitched in 11 points
apiece. Georgia is scoring 71.1 ppg this season on 43.5 percent shooting from
the floor, and it is allowing 70.3 ppg to opponents on 45.6 percent efficiency
from the field. Stukes is the team’s leading scorer with 12.3 ppg, and he is
shooting 42.5 percent from behind the arc. Mike Mercer adds 10.8 ppg to the
mix, and Sundiata Gaines is contributing 10.5 ppg.

Florida has been one of the nation’s most efficient teams this season, as it
is scoring 80.6 ppg on 50.8 percent shooting from the floor. The Gators are
limiting opponents to 65.2 ppg, and they have attempted 150 more free throws
than their foes. Taurean Green continues to pace a balanced attack with 14.0
ppg, and he has racked up 142 assists. Joakim Noah is contributing 13.3 ppg,
and he is also contributing 6.2 rpg and 58 blocks. Corey Brewer is supplying
12.5 ppg, and Al Horford is posting 11.6 ppg and 7.5 rpg to go along with 56
rejections. In the loss to Alabama over the weekend, all five starters scored
in double figures for the Gators. Green led the charge with 20 points, and he
dished out five assists with only one turnover. Florida connected on a mere
39.3 percent of its field goal attempts and suffered a 42-33 rebounding
disadvantage.

The Gators are in desperate need of a victory and have the advantage of
hosting an inferior team. Expect Florida to jump on top early and never look
back.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida 80, Georgia 63

FLORIDA GEORGIA