Saturday , Mar , 10 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Florida uses huge first half to crush Georgia

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Taurean Green scored 19 points and dished out
five assists as sixth-ranked Florida rode a sizzling first half and slammed
Georgia, 74-57 in SEC quarterfinal action at the Georgia Dome.

“We want to peak at this time of the year,” Green said. “We’re going to be
playing our best basketball at this time.”

Corey Brewer and Al Horford netted 15 points each for the top-seeded Gators
(27-5), who face Ole Miss in the semifinals on Saturday. Horford also grabbed
a game-high nine boards.

Takais Brown recorded 12 points for the Bulldogs (18-13), who shot a
horrendous 19 percent (7-of-37) from the floor in the first half. Billy
Humphrey had 10 points and seven rebounds, and Corey Butler added nine points
in a losing cause.

“Well, obviously this game was so much about the beginning of the game, and
how far we fell behind from the outset,” said Georgia head coach Dennis
Felton. “We had some poor turnovers early on that led to some easy offense for
Florida.”

Thanks to Georgia missing its first 13 shots and Florida’s speed and defensive
awareness, the Gators opened the game with a 17-0 lead. Brown’s slam just over
six minutes into the contest were the Bulldogs’ first points of the game, then
Sundiata Gaines followed with a running layup, but Florida reeled off 14 of
the next 16 points and led 31-6 with eight minutes to play.

Gaines closed out the half with a bucket, but the Bulldogs faced a 35-14
deficit at the break.

Brown’s make with 12:59 to play brought the Bulldogs within 51-33, then
Humphrey’s jumper with 4:53 to go made it 63-48, but the first half hole they
dug for themselves was too deep to climb out of, and Florida rolled to
victory.

“I thought on both ends of the floor we were able to create some turnovers
with our press,” said Florida head coach Billy Donovan. “We moved the ball, we
got good shots. I was really proud with the way our guys came out and handled
their first game.”

Game Notes

Florida holds a 99-94 edge in the all-time series…The Gators committed 16
turnovers to 14 for the Bulldogs, and Georgia outrebounded Florida
39-33…Georgia hit just 2-of-18 shots from beyond the arc and finished the
game 34 percent (24-of-71) from the floor…This is Florida’s 12th trip to the
SEC semifinals in school history, and the fourth year in a row the Gators have
reached the round.

FLORIDA GEORGIA