Florida wins 25th straight home game

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. - No. 7 Florida raced to a 20-point lead by halftime, then rolled to a school-record 25th consecutive home win, beating Georgia 72-50 Tuesday.

The Gators defeated the Bulldogs at the O'Connell Center for the 12th straight time.

"I'm really, really proud of our guys, that's great . . . these guys haven't won a national championship but they've done some good things as well,'' Florida coach Billy Donovan said of the record victory.

Florida (14-2, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) never trailed after going ahead 9-6 on a 3-pointer from guard Michael Frazier.

Florida built the lead to 22 points early in the second half. Georgia (8-7, 2-1) cut the margin to 14, but two 3-pointers by guard Michael Frazier II, who finished with a career-high 21 points, pushed the margin back to 55-32 with less than seven minutes to play. The Bulldogs never mounted a threat after that.

After hitting just one of his first seven shots behind the arc, Frazier became hesitant to keep shooting. Donovan called time out and took Frazier to task for his reluctance.

"He's the kind of guy who can take over a game,'' said forward Dorian Finney, who added 14 points.

And he did down the stretch -- finishing with five 3-pointers for the third time this season.

Florida played without leading scorer Casey Prather, who has a bruised knee.

Meanwhile, Bulldogs guard Charles Mann, the Southeastern Conference player of the week after scoring a combined 40 points in wins against Missouri and Alabama, had just eight points Tuesday.

"Really the game was decided in the first half in our lack of poise offensively -- 12 turnovers,'' Georgia coach Mark Fox said. "That lack of composure really allowed Florida to build a lead in the first half."

Florida also got a season-high 12 points and six rebounds from forward Will Yeguete. Gators center Patric Young had 10 points and nine boards, his ninth straight game with at least six rebounds.

Florida's 11 3-pointers were a season high, while Georgia posted a season-low point total. The Bulldogs' previous low was 55 against George Washington.

Florida dominated in the first half, racing to a 17-6 lead, thanks largely to a trio of 3-pointers.

Georgia forward Cameron Forte had a dunk to cut the deficit to single digits with 8:53 to go. But the Gators' 23-3 tear made it a 20-point game.

Florida had five steals in the opening 20 minutes, dominated the boards, and, after shooting just under 20 percent from behind the arc (6-of-31) in the opening half of the last three games, made four of its first nine attempts on Tuesday night.

Florida, which had the SEC's No. 2 scoring defense (allowing 60.3 points per game) going into the night, held Georgia to 31.6 percent shooting with 12 turnovers and led the Bulldogs 36-16 at the break.

Georgia's 16 first-half points were also a season low. Georgia's previous season low in the first half was 21 points on Dec. 19 against Gardner-Webb.

The Bulldogs made a brief surge in the second half.

"We got (the lead down to) 14 and had two or three chances to bring it to 12,'' lamented Fox of the second half. "We had a few chances in a row. . . . We played very poorly in the first half and Florida's defense was terrific, I have to give them credit.''

Then Frazier and the Gators got hot behind the arc, and it was over.

NOTES: Florida started Kasey Hill and Scottie Wilbekin in the same backcourt for the first time this season. Injuries and Wilbekin's season-opening suspension prevented it before Tuesday night. ... When the Gators snapped Arkansas' 23-game home-court winning streak Saturday, it gave Florida the SEC's longest streak at home.

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