Originally created 03/03/05

UGA goes cold in second half



ATHENS, Ga. - The future might have been in the stands, but Florida wouldn't let Georgia escape a nightmare of a season on Wednesday.

The Gators beat the Bulldogs 50-38 in the home finale at Stegeman Coliseum behind 22 points from guard Anthony Roberson - the Southeastern Conference's top scorer.

Georgia (8-18, 2-13 SEC) held Florida (19-8, 11-4) 30 points under its conference-leading scoring average, but the Bulldogs scored 40 points or less for the second consecutive game and less than 50 for the ninth time this season.

"You expect that with us being so young," sophomore Levi Stukes said. "We played as a team and showed them we're going to guard you and play our style."

Stukes led Georgia with 20 points. His future scoring help sat across from the Florida bench.

Signees Louis Williams, Mike Mercer and Billy Humphrey were part of the announced crowd of 6,701.

But only Mercer, the lowest-scoring of the three, appears to be a sure bet to be playing for the Bulldogs next season.

Williams, a 6-foot-2 McDonald's All-American who is considered the best high school player in the country, said at halftime he is leaning toward skipping college and entering the NBA Draft.

Humphrey's February commitment puts Georgia over its NCAA sanctions-reduced scholarship limit of 12. He'll get a scholarship only if Williams goes to the NBA or one opens some other way.

Despite scoring its fewest points since losing 68-46 to Michigan State during the second round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament and the fewest points in a win since a 50-48 victory at South Carolina on Feb. 22, 1992, Florida won its third in a row and ended a two-game losing streak road losing streak to the Bulldogs.

The Gators would have scored only 48 points had Georgia coach Dennis Felton not been called for a technical foul for arguing what he thought was a goaltending non-call on Florida with 1:32 to play. Roberson hit the two free throws that followed.

"I'm really proud of that," Felton said about the defensive effort. "I feel good about the game. We competed so hard and led the majority of the game. I was really happy with the effort."

The Bulldogs had a halftime lead - 25-21 - for only the second time during its conference schedule.

Florida's David Lee, who scored 17 points and had 13 rebounds, controls the ball during the first half of Wednesday's victory over Georgia. The Bulldogs led at halftime, but scored only 13 points in the second half.