Georgia attempts to keep momentum rolling vs. Florida

NCAA Men's Basketball

Georgia coach Tom Crean told his team to “stop everything and take three breaths.”

The Bulldogs responded by executing a play that finished with P.J. Horne’s layup with 1.3 seconds left that delivered a 63-62 victory over Kentucky on Wednesday.

Georgia (9-4, 2-4 SEC) will attempt to follow up that dramatic triumph when it hosts Florida (7-4, 4-3) on Saturday afternoon in Athens.

Horne cut hard to the basket and took Sahvir Wheeler’s pass and briefly bobbled it but regained control and scored.

“I had 3.6 seconds on the clock, so I knew I had time to figure something out to get the ball in the basket,” Horne said. “I know this is a big win.”

Georgia trailed by six points with two minutes left until K.D. Johnson hit a 3-pointer and Andrew Garcia scored on a layup to cut the deficit to one, setting up Horne’s winner.

“We believed we were going to win,” Crean said. “I’m proud of the way they locked in and executed at the end.”

The Gators routed No. 6-ranked Tennessee 75-49 on Tuesday despite playing without star forward Keyontae Johnson, who is out indefinitely, guard Scottie Lewis (undisclosed) and forward Colin Castleton (ankle).

Florida shot 49.2 percent (31 for 63) led by Noah Locke’s 14 points and held the Volunteers to a season-low score.

Forward Omar Payne started his first game in nearly a year and finished with nine points, nine rebounds and five blocks.

“It was my opportunity to shine,” Payne said. “I’m capable of doing it, so I should be doing it every day.”

Florida’s bench outscored Tennessee 22-9 and the Gators outscored the Vols 42-22 in the paint. Ques Glover also had 10 points and three steals while Niels Lane had six points and five rebounds.

“That’s as well as this group has played,” Florida coach Mike White said. “I told them, ‘You’re going to get more minutes tonight. What are you going to do with it?’ No one shied away from it.”

Johnson is Georgia’s leading scorer averaging 15.0 points per game and Wheeler (14.2 ppg) leads in assists (7.4 per game). Garcia (10.0 points, 4.7 rebounds per game) finished with 16 points against Kentucky and is one of five Bulldogs averaging double figures in scoring.

The Gators are hopeful Lewis will return to the lineup on Saturday. Tre Mann continues to pace the Gators with 13.8 points per game on 41.9 percent shooting and is averaging 4.1 assists per game.

–Field Level Media

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