With just under five minutes left in the game, Georgia forward Yante Maten received a pass at the top of the key.
Seeing no Florida player coming to face him up, Maten gathered himself and nailed the outside shot to give the Bulldogs a commanding 60-53.
Georgia forward Yante Maten posted up and overpowered then-Florida forward Justin Leon, risi…
In No. 23 Florida’s 72-60 road loss to Georgia in Athens on Tuesday night, rebounding struggles and an ice-cold offense down the stretch snapped a four-game winning streak against the Bulldogs.
Senior guard Chris Chiozza scored 15 points for the Gators (15-7, 6-3 SEC), while graduate guard Egor Koulechov added 13.
They were the only two Florida players to reach double figures.
Meanwhile, Maten led the Bulldogs with 20 points and seven rebounds in 31 minutes of action.
The Gators maintained a lead for a large part of the first half. Eight of the team’s first 11 points came from Chiozza, who scored a layup on a game-opening steal and also knocked down two three-pointers several minutes later.
However, Georgia kept itself within striking distance by creating second chance opportunities. Coming into the game averaging over 12 offensive rebounds per contest, the Bulldogs recorded 10 offensive boards in the first half alone.
In contrast, the Gators grabbed 17 total rebounds in the opening twenty minutes and were outrebounded by UGA 44-35 overall.
The Gators offense began to wither as the first half progressed, allowing Georgia to take advantage of its deficiencies.
Down 26-25 with five minutes left in the half, redshirt senior guard Juwan Parker nailed a three to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the night.
The triple became part of an 11-0 run for Georgia, which propelled the team to a seven-point lead with just over a minute remaining in the half.
Florida forward Kevarrius Hayes responded with a three-point play and Chiozza nailed his third three-pointer of the night to close out the half, but the Gators still trailed 37-32 heading into the locker room.
Florida began the second half scorching from the field.
Redshirt junior Jalen Hudson shot a three from the right wing over the top of Maten to open the scoring for the half.
The shot catalyzed a 12-2 run for Florida to give it 44-39 lead. Hudson drilled two three-pointers during the stretch, his first points of the night after a scoreless first half.
But once again, Florida’s offense stalled when Georgia’s perimeter defense clamped down midway through the half.
The Gators struggled to find any offensive rhythm late, going 3-for-21 in the final 10:20 of the game.
Georgia used that time to score methodically, capitalizing on Florida’s mistakes to build a double-digit lead and keep the game out of reach.
The Bulldogs came into Tuesday’s contest allowing just 66.1 points per game, and they played to their tough, grind-it-out style in the 12-point victory.
Florida has now lost two straight conference games and three out of its last five games versus SEC opponents.