Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Emotional Bulldogs Snap Gators' Streaks

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Emotional Bulldogs Snap Gators' Streaks

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco, Times-Union sports writer

GAINESVILLE -- It was a sentence on a blackboard and a moment of silence that did in the Florida basketball team.

The sentence -- Who's going to step up and help us? -- was written by Georgia coach Jim Harrick on Friday, two days after two basketball players were suspended as the university investigated rape allegations against several student-athletes. The moment of silence came immediately after, and Harrick made it a point to look at each player.

Then they made the trip to Gainesville and upset the second-ranked Gators 84-79 in front of 12,375 at the O'Connell Center yesterday, snapping Florida's school-record 14-game winning streak, 15-game home winning streak, and 11-game regular-season Southeastern Conference winning streak.

"I brought them all to the board and I never said a word," Harrick said. "I just looked at every guy on the team. And we had a spirited practice and came down here and played great offensively and defensively.

"It's been an unbelievably emotional week for our team, and to come back and give this kind of effort was tremendous."

No. 20 Georgia (15-3, 4-1) has road victories over No. 2 Florida (15-3, 4-1) and No. 12 Kentucky (12-4, 3-2), and is tied with the Gators for the best record in the SEC's Eastern Division. The Bulldogs won yesterday by relying on the same players that have carried them this season: forward Jarvis Hayes (23 points, seven rebounds), guard Ezra Williams (19 points, eight rebounds) and center Jonas Hayes (13 points).

That's why Florida coach Billy Donovan was upset with his team. The Gators knew what Georgia wanted to do, but still couldn't stop the Bulldogs.

"We had a very difficult time guarding them," Donovan said. "We knew they don't really run a whole lot of stuff. You pretty much know where the ball's going. It's either going to [Jarvis] Hayes or Ezra Williams, and [Chris] Daniels is kind of a guy around the basket that rebounds and does some things for them. But we did not execute well defensively."

Especially in the second half. Georgia shot 62.1 percent from the field in the second half, and went from trailing by five points with 4:08 to play to leading by eight points with 51. …

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