- David Ching, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
How the game was won: Georgia (13-15, 4-10 SEC) came out of the gates hot, hitting 54 percent of its shots in the first half, while No. 12 Florida’s perimeter-based offense struggled. The Bulldogs led 36-27 at halftime and for around double digits for much of the second half. The Bulldogs played off the energy from an enthusiastic home crowd at Stegeman Coliseum -- Georgia’s first good crowd since a loss to Kentucky in late January -- to hand the Gators (22-7, 10-4) an unsightly SEC loss.
Stat of the game: 53 percent. Georgia shot only 36 percent in its 22-point loss at Florida earlier this season, but the Bulldogs were uncharacteristically efficient on offense for much of Saturday’s contest. The Bulldogs made 27 of 51 shots from the floor, good for a 53-percent field-goal percentage.
Player of the game: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Georgia’s freshman guard scored only eight points and went 3-for-13 from the floor in the Bulldogs’ visit to Gainesville, but he was a force on Saturday. KCP led five Bulldogs in double figures with 18 points, including a resounding breakaway dunk with 48 seconds remaining that pushed Georgia’s lead back into double digits.
Unsung hero of the game: Nemanja Djurisic. The freshman forward scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds in a two-minute stretch of the second half where Georgia pushed its lead to 15 points and the possibility of an upset grew more likely.
What it means: Georgia entered the game on a serious slump, having lost three in a row, but the win against the hated Gators was unquestionably the Bulldogs’ biggest win of the year. Florida lost one of its most significant frontcourt players when Will Yeguete went down with a season-ending broken foot on Tuesday against Auburn. In his absence, the Gators seem to have lost some of their defensive energy -- a problem they will need to remedy before the SEC tournament begins.