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Florida overcomes 22-point deficit, stuns Georgia 81-75

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Florida coach Mike White spent countless hours over the last three weeks talking to his young team about handling adversity. It's been a bigger theme than offense or defense.

White found himself repeating a bunch of it at halftime against Georgia.

Keyontae Johnson, Andrew Nembhard and Tre Mann carried the Gators to one of the biggest comebacks in school history, rallying the Gators from 22 points down and stunning the rival Bulldogs 81-75 on Wednesday night.

''We responded,'' White said. ''It's just growing up.''

The Gators trailed 52-30 early in the second half before putting together a 34-5 run that will go down in team lore. White ripped into his guys at halftime and then benched three starters following a lackluster start to the final 20 minutes.

''We're just playing soft,'' Johnson said. ''He asked us, `Are we scared? Why y'all come here if you're not trying to play on the big stage?' I took it personal.''

So did his teammates. Florida (14-8, 6-3 Southeastern Conference) came alive during a 23-2 spurt fueled by Johnson and Mann. Johnson scored 11 during that stretch, and Mann added eight. They drained 3-pointers, drove to the basket and made Georgia (12-10, 2-7) look ordinary for the first time all night.

The Gators pulled ahead 69-59 with about six minutes to play, a staggering turnaround in a game that looked like it had been decided by the break. Georgia got back in it, though, whittling the lead to 73-71 with 2:55 to play.

Nembhard delivered the knockout blows: a driving layup that put the Gators up four with 58 seconds remaining and later added a steal and layup. Nembhard tied his career high with 25 points on 10 of 16 shooting, including scoring 14 of the team's final 17 points. Johnson ended with 15, while Mann had 11.

''We've got to stop playing the way we've been playing, so lazy and casual,'' Nembhard said. ''It starts with me. I've got to lead better.''

Although White said he was surprised to see his team dig such a huge hole, no one should be shocked to see Florida play this way at this point in the season. After all, the Gators have blown double-digit leads all season and even pulled off something similar last month. They trailed Alabama by 21 in Gainesville in early January before mounting a comeback.

This one matched the largest in school history. Florida also trailed by 22 against South Carolina in 1993.

''We've got to stop this from becoming a trend,'' Nembhard said.

Freshman sensation Anthony Edwards scored 32 points in another dominant performance for Georgia, but he went scoreless for a 13-inute stretch while Florida was making its huge run.

Georgia shot 55% in the first half and looked like it would coast after taking a 15-point lead into the locker room. But the Bulldogs failed to halt Florida's comeback.

''It was more the defensive (end), not handling their attack game the way that we needed to,'' Georgia coach Tom Crean said.

BIG PICTURE

Georgia: The schedule should ease up a little for the Bulldogs, who opened SEC play by playing Kentucky (twice), Auburn, Tennessee and Mississippi State. But this one will sting for a while - at least until Florida plays at Georgia in early March.

Florida: The Gators didn't squander a big lead for the first time in weeks. They blew eight-point leads against LSU and Baylor and a 16-point advantage against Mississippi State. They led by 18 at Vanderbilt on Saturday before the Commodores whittled it to five in the final minute.

UP NEXT

Georgia: Hosts Alabama on Saturday. The Bulldogs have won five of the last seven meetings.

Florida: Plays at Ole Miss on Saturday. Gators coach Mike White played collegiately for the Rebels and is 4-1 against his alma mater, including a 71-55 victory last month.

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1st Half

Time Team Play Score
20:00   Jumpball received by Florida  
19:43   Turnover on Scottie Lewis  
19:15   Rayshaun Hammonds missed jump shot  
19:13   Defensive rebound by Scottie Lewis  
19:13   Personal foul on Anthony Edwards  
19:13   Kerry Blackshear Jr. missed jump shot  
19:13   Defensive rebound by Jordan Harris  
19:13   Jordan Harris missed 3-pt. jump shot  
19:11   Defensive rebound by Scottie Lewis  
18:43   Andrew Nembhard missed layup  
18:42   Offensive rebound by Kerry Blackshear Jr.  
18:40   Personal foul on Rayshaun Hammonds  
18:40 +1 Kerry Blackshear Jr. made 1st of 2 free throws 0-1
18:40 +1 Kerry Blackshear Jr. made 2nd of 2 free throws 0-2
18:23   Rayshaun Hammonds missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:21   Defensive rebound by Florida  
18:08   Scottie Lewis missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:08   Defensive rebound by Anthony Edwards  
17:52   Lost ball turnover on Sahvir Wheeler, stolen by Noah Locke  
17:43   Noah Locke missed jump shot  
17:41   Offensive rebound by Andrew Nembhard  
17:33   Andrew Nembhard missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:31   Offensive rebound by Scottie Lewis  
17:25   Lost ball turnover on Scottie Lewis, stolen by Anthony Edwards  
17:21 +2 Anthony Edwards made layup 2-2
17:21   Personal foul on Keyontae Johnson  
17:21   Anthony Edwards missed free throw  
17:21   Defensive rebound by Keyontae Johnson  
17:10 +2 Andrew Nembhard made jump shot 2-4
16:39 +2 Rayshaun Hammonds made layup 4-4
16:18 +2 Kerry Blackshear Jr. made layup 4-6
15:59   Turnover on Anthony Edwards  
15:57   Commercial timeout called  
15:45   Tre Mann missed 3-pt. jump shot  
15:43   Defensive rebound by Jordan Harris  
15:29   Turnover on Anthony Edwards  
15:17 +2 Andrew Nembhard made layup 4-8
15:08   Jordan Harris missed layup  
15:06   Defensive rebound by Kerry Blackshear Jr.  
15:00   Tre Mann missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:58   Defensive rebound by Georgia  
14:58   Personal foul on Kerry Blackshear Jr.  
14:53   Personal foul on Toumani Camara  
14:48   Anthony Edwards missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:46   Offensive rebound by Jordan Harris  
14:38   Turnover on Jordan Harris  
14:33   Andrew Nembhard missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:31   Offensive rebound by Florida  
14:25 +2 Keyontae Johnson made layup 4-10
14:07 +2 Sahvir Wheeler made jump shot 6-10
13:45   Lost ball turnover on Keyontae Johnson, stolen by Tyree Crump  
13:31 +3 Anthony Edwards made 3-pt. jump shot 9-10
13:11   Scottie Lewis missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:09   Defensive rebound by Sahvir Wheeler  
13:08   Rayshaun Hammonds missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:06   Offensive rebound by Georgia  
13:06   Personal foul on Keyontae Johnson  
12:52 +2 Rayshaun Hammonds made layup 11-10
12:28   Kerry Blackshear Jr. missed jump shot  
12:26   Defensive rebound by Rayshaun Hammonds  
12:18 +3 Anthony Edwards made 3-pt. jump shot 14-10
11:59   Noah Locke missed jump shot  
11:57   Defensive rebound by Anthony Edwards  
11:51 +3 Anthony Edwards made 3-pt. jump shot 17-10
11:15   Rayshaun Hammonds missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:34 +3 Ques Glover made 3-pt. jump shot 17-13
11:15   Rayshaun Hammonds missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:13   Defensive rebound by Ques Glover  
11:05   Turnover on Ques Glover  
10:56 +3 Christian Brown made 3-pt. jump shot 20-13
10:53   Personal foul on Kerry Blackshear Jr.  
10:53   Christian Brown missed free throw  
10:53   Defensive rebound by Omar Payne  
10:26 +2 Andrew Nembhard made layup 20-15
10:12 +3 Christian Brown made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Anthony Edwards 23-15
9:50   Noah Locke missed jump shot, blocked by Christian Brown  
9:48   Defensive rebound by Anthony Edwards  
9:37   Christian Brown missed jump shot  
9:35   Defensive rebound by Omar Payne  
9:31 +3 Noah Locke made 3-pt. jump shot 23-18
9:11   Personal foul on Omar Payne  
9:11   Rayshaun Hammonds missed 1st of 2 free throws  
9:11   Rayshaun Hammonds missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
9:11   Rayshaun Hammonds missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
9:11   Defensive rebound by Scottie Lewis  
9:02   Lost ball turnover on Ques Glover, stolen by Rayshaun Hammonds  
9:02 +2 Rayshaun Hammonds made layup 25-18
8:43   Lost ball turnover on Scottie Lewis, stolen by Sahvir Wheeler  
8:38   Christian Brown missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:36   Offensive rebound by Georgia  
8:36   Turnover on Georgia  
7:48 +2 Omar Payne made dunk, assist by Andrew Nembhard 25-20
7:37   Anthony Edwards missed jump shot  
7:35   Defensive rebound by Scottie Lewis  
7:30   Lost ball turnover on Noah Locke, stolen by Anthony Edwards  
7:30   Toumani Camara missed layup  
7:30   Offensive rebound by Toumani Camara  
7:30 +2 Toumani Camara made tip-in 27-20
6:56 +2 Noah Locke made jump shot 27-22
6:27   Mike Peake missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:25   Defensive rebound by Scottie Lewis  
6:11   Noah Locke missed jump shot  
6:09   Defensive rebound by Tye Fagan  
6:00 +2 Sahvir Wheeler made jump shot 29-22
5:40 +2 Noah Locke made jump shot 29-24
5:11 +2 Anthony Edwards made layup, assist by Sahvir Wheeler 31-24
4:56   Tre Mann missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:54   Defensive rebound by Tye Fagan  
4:28   Mike Peake missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:26   Defensive rebound by Andrew Nembhard  
4:20   Noah Locke missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:18   Offensive rebound by Scottie Lewis  
4:17 +2 Scottie Lewis made dunk 31-26
3:55   Toumani Camara missed jump shot  
3:53   Defensive rebound by Omar Payne  
3:30   Andrew Nembhard missed jump shot  
3:28   Defensive rebound by Mike Peake  
3:12 +3 Anthony Edwards made 3-pt. jump shot 34-26
2:46   Andrew Nembhard missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:44   Defensive rebound by Tye Fagan  
2:36 +2 Sahvir Wheeler made jump shot 36-26
2:16   Noah Locke missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:14   Defensive rebound by Anthony Edwards  
1:51 +2 Sahvir Wheeler made jump shot 38-26
1:17   Tre Mann missed jump shot  
1:15   Defensive rebound by Anthony Edwards  
1:09 +2 Anthony Edwards made dunk 40-26
45.0   Lost ball turnover on Andrew Nembhard, stolen by Anthony Edwards  
37.0   Personal foul on Scottie Lewis  
37.0   Mike Peake missed 1st of 2 free throws  
37.0   Mike Peake missed 1st of 2 free throws  
37.0 +1 Mike Peake made 2nd of 2 free throws 41-26
37.0 +1 Mike Peake made 2nd of 2 free throws 41-26
13.0   Scottie Lewis missed jump shot  
11.0   Defensive rebound by Donnell Gresham Jr.  

2nd Half

Time Team Play Score
19:37   Keyontae Johnson missed jump shot  
19:35   Defensive rebound by Toumani Camara  
19:27 +3 Anthony Edwards made 3-pt. jump shot 44-26
19:12   Personal foul on Toumani Camara  
19:10   Kerry Blackshear Jr. missed 1st of 2 free throws  
19:10 +1 Kerry Blackshear Jr. made 2nd of 2 free throws 44-27
19:01 +2 Jordan Harris made dunk, assist by Sahvir Wheeler 46-27
18:42   Personal foul on Rayshaun Hammonds  
18:38   Lost ball turnover on Keyontae Johnson, stolen by Jordan Harris  
18:29   Anthony Edwards missed jump shot  
18:27   Defensive rebound by Kerry Blackshear Jr.  
18:21   Noah Locke missed 3-pt. jump shot  
18:19   Offensive rebound by Kerry Blackshear Jr.  
18:13   Kerry Blackshear Jr. missed tip-in  
18:11   Defensive rebound by Rayshaun Hammonds  
17:58 +2 Sahvir Wheeler made layup 48-27
17:51   30-second timeout called  
17:43 +3 Tre Mann made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Ques Glover 48-30
17:26   Personal foul on Tre Mann  
17:26 +1 Anthony Edwards made 1st of 2 free throws 49-30
17:26 +1 Anthony Edwards made 2nd of 2 free throws 50-30
17:09   Tre Mann missed jump shot  
17:07   Defensive rebound by Rayshaun Hammonds  
17:00   Toumani Camara missed dunk  
16:58   Defensive rebound by Florida  
16:51   Turnover on Ques Glover  
16:41 +2 Sahvir Wheeler made layup 52-30
16:31   Personal foul on Sahvir Wheeler  
16:26 +2 Jason Jitoboh made jump shot, assist by Keyontae Johnson 52-32
16:11   Offensive foul on Sahvir Wheeler  
16:11   Turnover on Sahvir Wheeler  
15:58 +3 Keyontae Johnson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Andrew Nembhard 52-35
15:33   Commercial timeout called  
15:28   Rayshaun Hammonds missed jump shot  
15:26   Offensive rebound by Toumani Camara  
15:20   Toumani Camara missed layup  
15:18   Defensive rebound by Keyontae Johnson  
15:10 +3 Tre Mann made 3-pt. jump shot 52-38
14:52   Personal foul on Jason Jitoboh  
14:41 +3 Anthony Edwards made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Sahvir Wheeler 55-38
14:27 +2 Keyontae Johnson made layup 55-40
14:24   Personal foul on Toumani Camara  
14:24 +1 Keyontae Johnson made free throw 55-41
14:06   Anthony Edwards missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:04   Defensive rebound by Kerry Blackshear Jr.  
13:58   Personal foul on Rayshaun Hammonds  
13:58   Kerry Blackshear Jr. missed 1st of 2 free throws  
13:58 +1 Kerry Blackshear Jr. made 2nd of 2 free throws 55-42
13:33   Toumani Camara missed jump shot  
13:31   Defensive rebound by Scottie Lewis  
13:15   Keyontae Johnson missed layup, blocked by Anthony Edwards  
13:13   Offensive rebound by Florida  
13:05   Personal foul on Toumani Camara  
13:05 +1 Keyontae Johnson made 1st of 2 free throws 55-43
13:05 +1 Keyontae Johnson made 2nd of 2 free throws 55-44
12:39   Personal foul on Kerry Blackshear Jr.  
12:33   Rayshaun Hammonds missed 3-pt. jump shot  
12:31   Defensive rebound by Andrew Nembhard  
12:22 +3 Keyontae Johnson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tre Mann 55-47
12:24   30-second timeout called  
12:07   Personal foul on Scottie Lewis  
12:07 +1 Christian Brown made 1st of 2 free throws 56-47
12:07 +1 Christian Brown made 2nd of 2 free throws 57-47
11:49   Keyontae Johnson missed jump shot, blocked by Anthony Edwards  
11:47   Offensive rebound by Keyontae Johnson  
11:38 +2 Andrew Nembhard made jump shot 57-49
11:23   Lost ball turnover on Anthony Edwards, stolen by Scottie Lewis  
11:17   Personal foul on Christian Brown  
11:17 +1 Scottie Lewis made 1st of 2 free throws 57-50
11:17 +1 Scottie Lewis made 2nd of 2 free throws 57-51
11:00   Anthony Edwards missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:58   Defensive rebound by Tre Mann  
10:51   Keyontae Johnson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:49   Defensive rebound by Anthony Edwards  
10:23   Turnover on Anthony Edwards  
10:06 +3 Tre Mann made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Andrew Nembhard 57-54
9:46   Tyree Crump missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:44   Defensive rebound by Kerry Blackshear Jr.  
9:30   Tre Mann missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:28   Offensive rebound by Keyontae Johnson  
9:18 +2 Tre Mann made layup 57-56
9:18   30-second timeout called  
8:56   Lost ball turnover on Sahvir Wheeler, stolen by Andrew Nembhard  
8:42 +3 Andrew Nembhard made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tre Mann 57-59
8:13   Lost ball turnover on Jordan Harris, stolen by Tre Mann  
8:00 +2 Kerry Blackshear Jr. made jump shot, assist by Keyontae Johnson 57-61
7:30 +2 Toumani Camara made layup, assist by Sahvir Wheeler 59-61
7:09 +3 Kerry Blackshear Jr. made 3-pt. jump shot 59-64
6:45   Jordan Harris missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:43   Defensive rebound by Scottie Lewis  
6:32 +2 Andrew Nembhard made layup 59-66
6:32   Personal foul on Toumani Camara  
6:32   Commercial timeout called  
6:32 +1 Andrew Nembhard made free throw 59-67
6:14   Offensive foul on Jordan Harris  
6:14   Turnover on Jordan Harris  
5:57 +2 Andrew Nembhard made jump shot 59-69
5:29   Personal foul on Kerry Blackshear Jr.  
5:24 +2 Anthony Edwards made jump shot 61-69
5:03   Omar Payne missed layup  
5:01   Offensive rebound by Keyontae Johnson  
4:40   Lost ball turnover on Keyontae Johnson, stolen by Donnell Gresham Jr.  
4:30 +3 Rayshaun Hammonds made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jordan Harris 64-69
4:22   Scottie Lewis missed jump shot  
4:20   Defensive rebound by Sahvir Wheeler  
4:14   Personal foul on Tre Mann  
4:22 +1 Sahvir Wheeler made 1st of 2 free throws 65-69
4:22 +1 Sahvir Wheeler made 2nd of 2 free throws 66-69
3:58 +2 Keyontae Johnson made jump shot 66-71
3:41   Personal foul on Omar Payne  
3:41   Commercial timeout called  
3:41 +1 Sahvir Wheeler made 1st of 2 free throws 67-71
3:41 +1 Sahvir Wheeler made 2nd of 2 free throws 68-71
3:24 +2 Andrew Nembhard made jump shot 68-73
3:06   Anthony Edwards missed jump shot  
3:04   Offensive rebound by Jordan Harris  
2:55 +3 Donnell Gresham Jr. made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jordan Harris 71-73
2:29   Andrew Nembhard missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:27   Defensive rebound by Jordan Harris  
1:57   Sahvir Wheeler missed layup  
1:55   Defensive rebound by Tre Mann  
1:36   Keyontae Johnson missed layup  
1:34   Defensive rebound by Rayshaun Hammonds  
1:33   30-second timeout called  
1:22   Rayshaun Hammonds missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:20