ATHENS — KeVaughn Allen scored 19 points and Florida shook off a dismal shooting performance in the first half to beat Georgia 57-53 on Tuesday night.
Florida (17-9, 8-5 Southeastern Conference) missed 18 of its first 19 3-point attempts but managed to hang around long enough for Allen to get hot. He scored 14 points in the second half, including a tiebreaking shot beyond the arc that put the Gators ahead to stay at 50-47 with 3:25 remaining.
Kenny Gaines gave Georgia (14-10, 7-6) a chance, knocking down a pair of 3s in the final minute. But Florida sealed the victory at the free-throw line, making five of its last six attempts, and Gaines missed a jumper at least 10 feet behind the stripe in a futile bid to tie the score with 7 seconds remaining.
With his late flurry, Gaines wound up leading Georgia with 12 points.
Georgia led 25-19 at the half after a gruesome display of offensive basketball by both teams.
The Bulldogs shot just 32 percent in the opening period, but Florida was even worse. The Gators went 1 of 17 from 3-point range, connected on a mere 24 percent overall and managed only one point over the final 8:13, missing their final 11 shots.
Georgia pushed out to a seven-point lead early in the second half before the Gators finally got going. Allen hit a pair of 3s, and Robinson also knocked down a jumper beyond the arc.
It was part of a 15-5 spurt that gave Florida a 41-38 lead with 8 1-2 minutes remaining.
Georgia fought back, scoring the next six points, but the Bulldogs went really cold down the stretch. Gaines connected three times from 3-point range; his teammates combined to miss their final eight shots.
The Bulldogs shot just 32 percent overall (20 of 62).
Florida: John Egbunu, with 10 points, was the only other player in double figures besides Allen. … The Gators finished 5 of 25 from 3-point range, making four of their last six attempts. … Swept the season series with Georgia, after winning in Gainesville 77-63 on Jan. 2.
Georgia: Former Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley watched the game from a front-row seat. The NFL rookie of the year received a standing ovation when introduced to the crowd during a break in the first half. … Nine of the team’s first 18 points came from Derek Ogbeide, Kenny Paul Geno and Houston Kessler, who came into the game combining to average just 8.8.
Florida visits South Carolina on Saturday.
Georgia travels to Vanderbilt on Saturday.