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Courtside blog: Florida 77, Georgia 67 FINAL

Link to my game story in today's Miami Herald: UF's Donovan unconvinced by win

For the record: Not a hickey on Nick Calathes' neck. Chandler Parsons owned up to scratching him. "No, I didn't give him a hickey," Parsons said...He really said that.

ChandlerGAINESVILLE -- Florida beat Georgia 77-67 on Saturday afternoon. Florida forward Chandler Parsons, PICTURED, led the Gators with 18 points, including three three-pointers. He was 6-of-9 from the field.

Florida sophomore Dan Wener had 10 points, six rebounds, seven steals and three assists. Marresse Speights never could establish himself against Georgia's post players. Speights finished with six points but did have 10 rebounds.

Walter Hodge had 14 points and Jai Lucas scored 13. Guard Nick Calathes, usually the Gators most consistent player, scored seven points on 1-of-7 from the field. He had six assists.

Florida is now 19-5 overall and 6-3 in the SEC. Georgia falls to 11-10 and 2-6 in league play.

LIVE BLOG BELOW
Calathes now fouls with 41.7 seconds left. Kid can't do anything right today.

Werner has seven steals. That's one steal shy of a Florida record. Werner at the line now and makes a pair. And now Georgia calls a timeout to ice Werner with 51.4 left and trailing by nine!!! I hope Georgia doesn't start fouling. I might rush the court if that happens. Headline: Miami Herald reporter tackles Georgia coach. Quote: "I was just trying to stop the clock ONE MORE TIME!!!" sreamed Goodman as he was carried away in handcuffs. Florida 75, Georgia 63; 51.4.

This is got to be Calathes' worst game of the season. He just launched an arrant alley-oop attempt into the seats and Donovan just rolled his eyes. Florida 73, Georgia 63; 1:35.

Billy is royally upset about Florida not playing adequate defense. Speights is getting an earful right now. And now Billy is screaming at Chandler Parsons. This game is downright disgusting. Florida 73, Georgia 62; 2:18.

OK, just got a close-up look of Calathes' neck on an inbounds play. On second inspection, it doesn't look like a hickey. More like a burn, a cut or a maybe some sort of lesion.

Florida in a four-corners offense now. This game is over. Florida 69, Georgia 56; 4:15.

Hickey theories running rampant on press row now. Calathes' bad game being blamed on a long night of sucking face. Reporters have dirty minds, FYI.

Hickey boy out of the game now. Lucas in. Florida 69, Georgia 55; 6:09.

HERE'S SOMETHING YOU WON'T READ IN THE PAPER TOMORROW. NICK CALATHES HAS THE WORLD'S BIGGEST HICKEY ON HIS NECK. BLAH!!!!!

Georgia making stupid mistakes now. Not only is Georgia a bad basketball team, they're a bad basketball that's grossly out of shape. Fat boy Georgia center Jeremy Price just fouled out making a silly foul at midcourt moments after guard Sun-whatever-his-name-is Gaines fouled Speights under the basket. Florida 69, Georgia 55; 6:47.

TV timeout and now the best part about covering basketball games in the O'Dome, the 10-minute-mark Paul Simon sing along. Like I said, Florida's got a great student section.

Speights rips down a rebound (his seven of the game) and Calathes nails a three-pointer in the corner on the following possession. Florida cruising now. UF 68, Georgia 53; 8:18. Press row conversation going on right now: How many years should Speights stay at Florida before he turns pro. I say he needs one more year after this. He's just learning how to bang.

Alright, got to give the Gators a little credit. They are playing pretty good defense. Georgia hasn't scored in over three minutes now.

And now Chandler Parsons can't dunk, nothing new there. Speights inside. Florida 63, Georgia 53, 9:22.

This a bad game all the way around. Bad Florida. Bad Georgia. Bad officials. At the least Florida's student section is consistently great all season. Speights just made his second field goal of the game to give Florida a 61-53 lead with 10:34 left.

Calathes out again after a less than two minutes of work. I think Billy Donovan is upset with Calathes' play. Meanwhile, Adam Allen scores a nice bucket and Jai Lucas goes to the line and sinks two free throws after another steal by Dan Werner. Florida 57, Georgia 53.

Florida guard Nick Calathes has been out of the game for about five minutes and Florida has managed to hang onto the lead in his absence. Calathes and Werner in for Hodge and Speights. Florida 53; Georgia 49; 13:22.

Georgia is so awful at basketball. When is the last time Georgia was any good? Tubby Smith? How long has that been now?  Of course, as I type these words the Bulldogs start the second half with three consecutive three-pointers to cut Florida's lead to 48-17; 16:14.

Florida finished the half strong with a 15-4 run. Chandler Parsons is playing great basketball. He finished the half with 13 points including 10 points in the last three minutes and 15 seconds. Florida 43, Georgia 26 HALFTIME.

HALFTIME OBSERVATIONS: Mo Speights has two points and four rebounds. He's needs to contribute a little more during the second half.

HALFTIME SHOW: Dogs catching frisbees. One of the dogs jumped and landed on its head. Ouch!

Georgia point guard Sundiata Gaines is playing well. He's got 11 points and is currently trading baskets with Florida's Chandler Parsons. Parsons is winning the battle. He made a runner in the lane and followed that with a three-pointer. Parsons has eight points and is perfect from the field (3-3 overall, 2-2 from three-pointer range). Florida 33, Georgia 30; 2:29. Parsons is never afraid to shoot it. That's what I like about this Florida team. They might be young but they're never afraid to take chances.

Walter Hodge just stripped a Georgia point guard and dunked on a fast break. The crowd is going crazy. Florida 28, Georgia 25; 4:23. Hodge leads Florida with eight points.

Adam Allen in the game and playing his best basketball in some time. He swished a three-pointer to give Florida the lead and just absorbed a charge. Florida 20, Georgia 18; 8:45. Allen has now made four three-pointers in his last nine games.

Getting sloppy in the O'Dome now. Trading more turnovers than points now. One thing I've learned this season, Jonathan Mitchell should never be allowed to dribble the ball. Florida 15, Georgia 14; 11:59...Parsons swished a three to give Florida the lead (highlight of the game so far next to Werner's hustle).

"Thunder" Dan Werner is working hard (as usual) in the game's opening minutes. Two steals, a rebound and a field goal for Werner. I spoke with Werner before the Tennessee trip and he told me he got his hair cut military style because, "I'm going to war." UF 8, UGA 4; 17:06

PREGAME BELOW
Florida (18-5) looks to rebound today after its loss to Tennessee on Wednesday. Georgia (11-9). Georgia has lost four straight since beating Alabama and Arkansas in mid-January.

Observations: Why do Chandler Parsons and Jonathan Mitchell have their pregame warm-ups tucked into their basketball shorts? I'll launch an investigation after today's game.

One of Georgia's scrubs just missed a lay-up during warm-ups. The reporter sitting next to me laughed out loud and pointed.

Florida starting line-up:
F Dan Werner 6-7, 235 pounds (8.7 ppg/6.8 rpg)
C Marresse Speights 6-10, 245 pounds (14.4 ppg/7.8 rpg)
G Walter Hodge 6-0, 170 pounds (10.1/2.8 apg)
G/F Nick Calathes 6-6, 194 pounds (15.7 ppg/6.2 apg)
G Jai Lucas 5-11, 155 pounds (9.3 ppg/2.3 apg)

Georgia starting line-up:
F Terrance Woodbury 6-7, 220 pounds (9.2 ppg/3.6 rbg)
F Jeremy Price 6-8, 270 pounds (8.7 ppg/4.4 rpg)
C Dave Bliss 6-10, 255 pounds (7.3 ppg/5.0 rpg)
G Sundiata Gaines 6-1, 210 pounds (13.2 ppg/6.2 apg)
G Zac Swansey 6-1, 175 pounds (4.1 ppg/1.8 apg)

-jo-

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