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Gators get best of UGA again

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Alex Tyus scored 23 points, Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton added 21 apiece, and Florida beat Georgia 87-71 Wednesday night.

The Gators (15-5, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) extended their winning streak to four and continued their recent domination in the series. Florida has won 12 of the last 13 meetings.

This one wasn't really close.

Florida exposed Georgia's backcourt with a relentless press. The Bulldogs (9-9, 1-4) finished with 19 turnovers, most of them in a decisive first half.

Wesleyan grad Trey Thompkins led Georgia with 24 points and six rebounds. Parkview grad Ricky McPhee added 21 points, most of them coming on five 3-pointers.

The Bulldogs trailed by double digits most of the way. They cut the lead to 71-63 with 5:40 remaining, but Florida responded with a flurry that sealed the victory.

Walker hit two free throws, Vernon Macklin converted a three-point play and Boynton's 3-pointer capped an 8-0 run that allowed the Gators to cruise down the stretch.

Georgia never found the kind of offensive rhythm that helped it upset Tennessee last weekend and left Gainesville with its eighth straight loss against the Gators.

Florida led 45-33 at halftime and went ahead by 14 to open the second half. Travis Leslie got a few easy buckets, and Georgia looked like it would make a comeback, but Walker and Tyus ended the threat.

The duo hooked up on three consecutive possessions to give the Gators a 16-point lead.

Walker found Tyus cutting through the lane for a dunk, then hit him with a bounce pass that resulted in a three-point play. They followed with an alley-oop on a fast break that was one of Tyus' more emphatic dunks of the season.

Walker finished with a career-high 10 assists. He also made four of six shots from 3-point range, making him 23 of 37 from behind the arc in conference play.

The Bulldogs couldn't miss early. They hit their first four shots and led 9-4 in the opening minutes. But Walker got hot from long range, Macklin and Chandler Parsons became more active on the offensive end, and the press gave Georgia all sorts of problems.

Georgia had nearly as many turnovers (12) as baskets (13) in the opening 20 minutes and couldn't find a rhythm. The Bulldogs kept it close, though, because of five 3-pointers.

McPhee hit three of them. Thompkins had one, too. He made six of seven shots in the first half and had 13 points. But he also had four turnovers.

Walker, Boynton and Parsons -- the three guys at the front of coach Billy Donovan's press -- had two steals apiece in the first half.

Florida used the turnovers for a number of easy buckets. The Gators had 22 points in the paint, 19 off turnovers and 11 on fast breaks.