Florida vs. Georgia score, takeaways: Myron Jones’ unconscious shooting leads Gators to key win

By Adam Silverstein
February 9, 2022
Florida vs. Georgia score, takeaways: Myron Jones’ unconscious shooting leads Gators to key win

Image Credit: GatorsMBK / Twitter

The Florida Gators again benefited from the extremely hot shooting of senior guard Myreon Jones, who was a sniper from long range on Wednesday night in a closer-than-it-should-have-been 72-63 win over the Georgia Bulldogs in Gainesville, Florida. Nevertheless, the Gators won their fourth straight game in a key home spot inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

While Florida again spent most of its time beyond the arc on offense, Jones’ smokey hand and a gutty effort from senior forward Colin Castleton made up for the team’s shot selection and near-disastrous effort late in the second half. The Gators led by double digits for most of the game but allowed the Dawgs to get back into the contest at the end of each period.

What went down on Wednesday night? Let’s take a look with some Fastbreak Takeaways from Florida’s fifth straight win over Georgia in the series.

It was over when … senior point guard Tyree Appleby stuck a dagger in the Dawgs by draining a 3-pointer late in the shot clock put the Gators up eight points with 37.8 seconds to play. The teams traded possessions down the stretch, but UGA never got within six points of the hosts as UF scored eight of the game’s final 10 points. This came after Florida led by as many as 14 with 7:52 left, but Georgia exploded on a 10-0 run (extended 14-3 stretch) to cut its deficit to just three points with 2:56 to play. A key mid-range jumper by Castleton followed by Appleby’s triple ensured the victory.

First half focus: Florida used an 11-2 run, with a pair of 3-pointers from Jones, and a separate 6-0 run to push its lead to 16 points with 6:37 until the break. The Gators built their lead by scoring in the paint and using that success to create open long-range shots, the opposite of what they have done in so many games this season. Jones wound up going 4 of 6 from deep with 12 points the opening period, but numerous turnovers and a 3:45 scoreless stretch to end the period allowed the Dawgs to score the final seven points and trail by eight at halftime.

Exceptional efforts: Jones set a career-high by hitting 7 of 11 attempts from downtown and posted both a game- and Florida career-high 23 points, adding two assists, two blocks and two free throws. He is now 14 of 23 from deep (.609) since the start of February. Castleton, despite getting hurt in the game, finished with 13 points on 6 of 9 shooting with game-highs of eight rebounds and four blocks. Appleby was quiet in the first half but hit 3 of 8 treys in the latter period for 11 points with three dimes and two boards.

Important injury: Castleton reinjured his left shoulder early in the second half, but after spending a few minutes on the bench in obvious pain, he returned to the court and finished out the game. It will be worth monitoring his status going forward as he will surely have an MRI on Thursday to observe his ailment. The Gators have an exceedingly difficult stretch coming up starting with a big-time ranked opponent to conclude the week.

Odds and ends: Florida has won four straight games and seven of nine since Jan. 15 … the Gators improved to 119-103 all-time against the Dawgs (67-38 in the O’Dome) with their fifth straight win in the series between the programs … White improved to 5-2 against UGA in his career … Florida improved to 114-27 overall (12-3 this season) scoring 70+ points under White … UF is also now 103-27 overall (14-2 this season) allowing fewer than 70 points under White … the Gators never trailed, leading for 39:51 in the game and holding an 8+ point advantage for 29:57 … Florida outscored Georgia 36-15 from downtown and 31-10 off the bench … UF was outrebounded 38-33 and outscored 30-22 in the paint

What it means / what’s next: The Gators picked up a must-win game at home before it faces three of the SEC’s best teams over the next week-plus. Florida hits the road to face No. 5 Kentucky on Saturday in a game that will air live on ESPN at 4 p.m. ET. UF ended a five-game losing streak to UK last season in Lexington, Kentucky, so the Wildcats will surely be out for revenge.

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