ATHENS, Ga. - The Georgia Bulldogs fell to the Florida Gators, 68-54, in their final home game of the 2019-20 campaign in Stegeman Coliseum Wednesday night. A crowd of 10,007 was on hand for the contest, the Bulldogs’ school-record 11th crowd this season. The Bulldogs finished their home slate with 164,071 fans over 17 games this season, breaking the program’s all-time total attendance record by more than 15,000.
Junior Rayshaun Hammonds recorded his fifth double-double of the season and the seventh of his career with 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Freshman Anthony Edwards paced Georgia in scoring for the 20th time this season with 14 points.
Freshman Sahvir Wheeler dished out six assists on the night. He’s now just four assists shy of Georgia’s all-time leading freshman in assists, Litterial Green with 133.
"We have to keep growing, getting better and build the guys that we have,” Georgia Head Coach Tom Crean said. “[We need to] make sure, as we go through this, we focus on the guys who are going to bring us stability and leadership as we move forward in the program and keep growing the guys that we have... Real toughness knows it's never easy. Toughness that you're trying to grow has to go through it, and that's where we are.”
Hammonds got the Bulldogs on the board, accounting for Georgia’s first five points and eight of the first 14. The Bulldogs got off to another hot start, jumping out to the early 14-6 advantage off an 8-0 run to force an early Florida timeout.
Out of the timeout, Georgia continued to extend its advantage, grabbing the first double-digit lead of the night off an alley-oop dunk to senior Jordan Harris, assisted by Edwards. On the ensuing possession, Edwards drained a shot from behind the arc to cap the 13-0 run and gain the 19-6 lead.
Florida answered with an 8-0 run of its own while holding Georgia scoreless for nearly seven minutes to cut its deficit to five (19-14).
A layup from senior Tyree Crump ended the Bulldogs’ scoring drought while the Georgia defense held Florida to no points for over four minutes. Following an 8-0 run, the Gators were able to get within one of the Bulldogs, 23-22, with 3:37 remaining in the opening frame.
For the first time in the contest, Florida knotted the game 25-all with just over two minutes to play. The Gators would tie it once more, but an and-one from Harris regained the lead Georgia would retain for the remainder of the first half. The Bulldogs went into the locker room sporting the 30-28 lead.
After Georgia took a six-point lead in the opening minutes of the second period, Florida was able to tie the game yet again at 40 due to another Bulldogs’ scoring drought. The Gators would then take their first lead of the contest on shots from the line with 11:47 to play.
A basket from sophomore Tye Fagan marked the first Georgia points in nearly six minutes of play. Edwards followed with a one-handed jam to cut the Georgia deficit to one and bring the momentum back to the Bulldogs. Georgia was able to get a defensive stop and an offensive rebound to regain the lead (46-45) on another basket from Fagan.
Florida strung together two consecutive three-point shots as part of a 10-0 run to grab its largest advantage of the game up to that point of nine with just under five minutes to go.
The Gators continued to score, grabbing their first double-digit lead of the contest. Following another Florida 3-pointer, the Bulldogs were unable to overcome their deficit, falling to the Gators, 68-54.
Georgia will conclude regular season play against the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge Saturday, March 7th, at 2 p.m.