UF MBK: Florida 77, Georgia 67


  *   Florida won its eighth straight against Georgia and fifth in a row in Athens. The Gators also improve to 4-1 all-time vs. past head coaches, including 2-0 on the road. This season, Todd Golden is 6-0 head-to-head against fellow SEC coaches in Year 1 at their program.
  *   Will Richard ignited the Gators with a career-high 24 points, going 8-for-11 from the floor and 5-for-8 from 3-point range. Richard is the fifth different Gator to post a 20-point game this season.
  *   Myreon Jones earned his first double-double as a Gator (second career) with 14 points and a career-best 12 rebounds. In four career games vs. UGA, Jones has averaged 15.8 points on .611 shooting (22/36) and .538 from 3 (14/26).
     *   Jones added two steals and now has 71 as a Gator, just the third Florida transfer to hit 70 steals, joining Dorian Finney-Smith (81) and Tyree Appleby (80).
  *   Riley Kugel added 19 points, his seventh straight double-figure performance. Kugel is averaging 17.9 points over the last seven games.
     *   Kugel’s seven consecutive double-figure games marks the most by a Florida freshman since Noah Locke had nine straight in 2018-19.
  *   Jason Jitoboh posted a career-high four blocked shots, doubling his previous high of two.
  *   After Georgia drew within two at 57-55 with 7:19 to play, the Gators outscored UGA 20-12 down the stretch and allowed just one field goal over the final 5:30.

Head Coach Todd Golden
On his takeaways from the win…
“I thought in the first half we did a really good job, especially when (Terry) Roberts went out of the game with foul trouble, took the lead from tied to up 10 at halftime. The second half, we played well early, they made their run, we expected them to do something along those lines, and tighten it up. Will (Richard) hit a big three to get it back to two possessions. I’m just really proud of how our guys played together. All four of the perimeters that started played really well. Alex Fudge gave us some big-time minutes off the bench, played some of the five with us obviously being thin and light right now. It was a great example of what you can do when you stick together and our guys have been good that way.”

On Florida’s perimeter play…
“It was definitely their best game numerically. Kyle (Lofton) didn’t score a lot but did a great job leading us, kept us organized and defended really well. Riley (Kugel) did a wonderful job attacking the rim and played really, really efficiently with some nice passes and was eight of twelve from the field. Myreon (Jones) was fantastic for us. Hit some big shots, had 12 rebounds tonight, which we needed from a guard spot. Will (Richard) had his best game as a Gator tonight. He shot the ball incredibly well, scored 24, and hit the big time three that got it back to a two possession game. That’s the kind of effort we need from these guys down the stretch without Colin (Castleton) to win a game like this.”

On Will Richard’s 3-point shooting…
“There’s good coaches in this league, there’s guys that know how to take away what guys want to do. I thought Will did a good job of finding those shots as well. Lifting up on penetration and making the right decisions that way. It was huge. He stepped up and knocked them down. It’s one thing to get them, but he made them, too.”

Grad G Myreon Jones
On what made the difference…
“In the first half, everybody was aggressive early. We got a couple stops penetrating baskets and when we got a couple stops and got out in transition and stayed attacking it change momentum. Even in the second half when they made a little run we finally got rebounds, some stops, stayed aggressive and got the lead back up again.”

On shooting 63 percent from 2…
“Not settling. We didn’t settle for 3s. We stayed aggressive and got into the paint, got some easy ones, that got some 3s. We were more in a rhythm because the defense was sucked in and trying to guard, so we kicked it out to the open shooters. We have confidence in our shooters.”

Sophomore G Will Richard
On finding space to shoot…
“I watched a lot of film with Coach (Carlin) Hartman and Coach (Kevin) Hovde this week, just to try to find more ways to get myself open. A lot of times when people are driving, guys can’t see me, so it’s up to me to find those open spaces and get behind defenders.”

On shooting 63 percent from 2…
“I feel like we drove the ball and weren’t just looking for fouls. We were trying to put the ball in the basket.”