Georgia hangs on to end Florida's winning streak
ATHENS, Ga. - Trey Thompkins scored 20 points, and Albert Jackson ended Florida's comeback attempt by knocking a last-second pass out of bounds to help Georgia beat the Gators 78-76 on Saturday. Chandler Parsons finished with 29 points for Florida, which had won three straight overall and had taken 12 of its last 13 meetings with the Bulldogs. Georgia (13-14, 5-9 Southeastern Conference) improved to 12-3 at home this season with a fourth straight victory at Stegeman Coliseum, but the Bulldogs nearly blew a 15-point lead Dustin Ware gave them on a 3-pointer with 12:55 remaining. Kenny Boynton, who scored 22 points, pulled Florida (20-9, 9-5) within two points three times in the final 5:42, but his fast break layup at the 1:39 mark ended the scoring.After Georgia's shot-clock violation gave Florida the game's final possession with 13.3 seconds left, Jackson jumped in front of Dan Werner near the right sideline to block a pass intended for Vernon Macklin in the lane. The ball bounced off Jackson's arms and into the crowd behind Werner. Florida fared no better with one-tenth of a second remaining when Werner unsuccessfully launched a 3-point attempt that sailed over the rim. Florida was coming off its first win over Tennessee in three years, a 13-point victory Tuesday that lifted the Gators' hopes of returning to the NCAA tournament since the school won consecutive national titles in 2006-07. But Florida, which never led after Boynton's 3-pointer made it 17-15 midway through the first half, closes the regular season next week against No. 16 Vanderbilt at home and No. 2 Kentucky on the road. Georgia was coming off an overtime loss at Vanderbilt on Thursday, but had 13 points from Jeremy Price, 12 from Travis Leslie and 10 from Ware to hold off the Gators. Thompkins' last basket came with 3:30 remaining following a timeout. Only 3 seconds were left on the shot clock when Thompkins, the SEC's second-leading scorer, caught the inbound pass and turned to hit a 16-footer from the left side that gave the Bulldogs a 76-71 lead. Price's basket with 2:45 left put Georgia ahead 78-74.