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Gators' Defense Tops Georgia


Freshman Brett Nelson hit three 3-pointers over a key 2 1/2-minute stretch Saturday to help No. 12 Florida pull away from Georgia for an 85-66 victory.

The Gators (17-4, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) won their third straight thanks to a never-ending full-court defense that forced 30 turnovers and slowly wore down an undermanned opponent.

Georgia (9-13, 2-7) dropped its fourth straight and eighth of its last 10. Florida's bench outscored Georgia's 52-10.

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  • Nelson was the key. Coming off the bench for the struggling Teddy Dupay, Nelson shot 6-for-10 to finish with 17 points. He also had three assists and five steals.

    His most critical stretch came with Florida leading 51-42 midway through the second half. The point guard from West Virginia sandwiched three 3-pointers around layups by fellow freshmen Justin Hamilton and Donnell Harvey to help the Gators extend their lead to 64-46.

    Georgia got the deficit down to 13 with five minutes remaining, but Nelson had a pair of free throws, a steal and an assist to trigger a 9-0 run and extinguish any comeback hopes.

    The loss spoiled a 17-point effort from Shon Coleman, who is averaging 17.5 points over the last four games for the Bulldogs.

    Teammate D.A. Layne had 17 points and seven assists, but also committed seven turnovers against a Florida press that eventually sapped Georgia's spirit. Anthony Evans had 13 points and seven rebounds.

    Mike Miller scored all 10 of his points in the first half for the Gators. Dupay had just three points in 13 minutes of play.

    Harvey had 16 for Florida, including a thunderous dunk with 14 seconds remaining that gave the Gators their 85th point and sent fans home with ticket stubs good for free fast-food hamburgers.

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