Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gator Turned Bulldog Has the Last Chomp

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gator Turned Bulldog Has the Last Chomp

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Woods, Times-Union sports columnist

GAINESVILLE -- Fred Gibson couldn't resist.

After making a free throw with 37.8 seconds remaining, he took a step back from the foul line, looked into the stands behind the basket at the O'Connell Center, raised his right arm, dropped his left arm and took another shot.

Not an actual shot, mind you.

This was an in-your-face symbolic shot.

It was The Chomp.

That's right. Here was a Georgia Bulldog -- and not just any Bulldog but one who had spurned UF and decided to play football and basketball in Athens -- standing in the middle of the O-Dome, celebrating the end of the Gators' school-record, 14-game winning streak by using their trademark ovation.

Move over, Darnell Dockett.

You've got company on the Gator Nation's list of villains.

A 6-foot-5 receiver/guard from Waycross, Ga.

"When we first came out to warm up, they were saying some horrible things to me," Gibson said. "If you only knew the things were saying to me -- I'm not going to repeat them -- but I took it pretty personally. I told myself I could come out, play real hard and help my team get a big upset."

He certainly did that. Seventeen days after joining the basketball team, he scored 13 points in 16 minutes and came through with a series of clutch plays down the stretch that helped seal an 84-79 upset of the nation's second-ranked team.

"Fred was loving this more than any of us," Georgia forward Jarvis Hayes said.

With 4 minutes to play, the Gators led by five points and appeared to be on their way to fighting through a rough shooting day and improving to 16-1. Then this surprising Georgia team -- which already had an upset of Kentucky at Rupp Arena on its resume -- went on a 13-0 run, capped off by a dunk by the guy who earlier in the afternoon had heard chants. …

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