GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Canyon Barry took a slight detour on his way to the locker room Saturday. As he jogged off the floor, he swung by the student section and delivered high-fives to everyone on the front row. Talk about going above and beyond. Barry had already given the home crowd plenty.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Canyon Barry took a slight detour on his way to the locker room Saturday. As he jogged off the floor, he swung by the student section and delivered high-fives to everyone on the front row.
Talk about going above and beyond. Barry had already given the home crowd plenty.
Barry scored 27 points, including four in overtime, and No. 23 Florida handed Georgia its 14th consecutive loss in Gainesville with an 80-76 victory.
"He's playing with a different level of confidence," coach Mike White said. "I really believe that. I think we can all see that. He's just shooting the ball better. He's shooting the ball better in practice, he's shooting it better in shoot-around and it's carrying over. I know he spent a lot of time in the gym and it's really important to him."
It was critical against Georgia (11-6, 3-2 Southeastern Conference).
Although John Egbunu sealed the victory with a free throw in the waning seconds, Barry and redshirt freshman Keith Stone carried the Gators (14-3, 5-0) for most of the afternoon.
Barry made 7 of 13 shots, including two four-point plays, and was perfect from the free-throw line. His four underhanded foul shots were key in overtime, especially the ones that came after his offensive rebound on KeVaughn Allen's miss from well behind the 3-point arc.
Barry finished with five treys, including three in the first half.
"Obviously, when you make your first shot, it helps with your confidence," Barry said.
Stone had a career-high 17 points. Barry and Stone helped Florida's reserves outscore Georgia's 51-5, probably the key stat of the game.
The Bulldogs led much of the way, but faded after leading scorer Yante Maten fouled out with 3:51 left in regulation. Georgia led 64-59 at the time and looked as if it would pick up its first win in Gainesville since 2002. But Florida rallied, taking advantage of Maten's absence in the paint.
Kasey Hill and Barry had consecutive driving layups that put the Gators up with 2 minutes to play. Georgia's J.J. Frazier answered with a 3-pointer on the other end.
The Gators had plenty of chances to win in regulation, but Hill missed two free throws and had a turnover in the final minute.
Frazier led the Bulldogs with 25 points. Juwan Parker added 17, and Maten had 15 before fouling out.
"It's definitely a heartbreaker," Parker said. "You hate to lose like that."
After winning their seventh consecutive game, the Gators should climb a few spots in the AP Top 25 . It's the longest winning streak for Florida since making the Final Four in 2014.
Georgia: The Bulldogs have one of the league's most dynamic inside-out combinations with Maten and Frazier, but they have to keep the upperclassmen on the floor or they're in trouble. It showed against Florida.
Florida: The Gators have to start thinking about getting Stone — and maybe Barry — in the starting lineup. Stone is clearly a better option than senior Justin Leon and is only going to improve the more he plays.
Florida took 14 more free throws and made 11 more than Georgia.
"There wasn't a lot of rhythm to the game," Bulldogs coach Mark Fox said. "I thought our defense gave us a chance to win, but they (made) 27 free throws."
Georgia: Hosts Vanderbilt on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs are 7-2 in Athens this season.
Florida: Plays at South Carolina on Wednesday, looking to start 6-0 in conference play for the first time in three years.
Follow Mark Long on Twitter @APMarkLong