Mistakes too much for Dawgs


Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 12:17 a.m.

The mistakes were just too much for Georgia to withstand.

After turning the ball over nine times to Florida in the first half, the Bulldogs almost matched that number with eight in the second as they fell to the Gators 83-57 Wednesday night. The loss marks the seventh straight loss for the Bulldogs, who now drop to 9-11 on the season and 0-5 in Southeastern Conference play.

Before reaching the midpoint of the first half, the Bulldogs had already accumulated five turnovers and by the end of the game the Gators had scored 20 points off Georgia’s 17 turnovers.

As the mistakes piled up, the Bulldogs found themselves getting outhustled to the basket, both offensively and defensively. Their shots hit the front, back and sides of the rim, but failed to find the net consistently. Passes were either too high, too low, too fast or too slow.

The Bulldogs found some fire toward the end of the half, but after going on a short run to bring the game to within one at 22-21 with 6:32 remaining, they couldn’t pull ahead as UF ended the half on a 20-9 run.

“Our defense has to get better,” Georgia senior guard Corey Butler said. “Simply put, we have to get better on defense. We have to start getting back on defense, especially against teams that run on us like Florida just did tonight.”

After stressing coach Dennis Felton stressed to his team at halftime to be more careful about turnovers, the Bulldogs started the second half turning the ball over twice in their first three possessions. The Gators then went on a 26-9 run.

“I felt turnovers were the difference in the game in the first half,” Felton said. “Then we came out in the second half and as determined as we wanted to be to not turn it over, we started the second half with some turnovers and in this building especially it becomes real momentous. That crowd really gets going and then that basket gets really big for Florida.

“They’re not trying to turn it over, but we’re young and we have to get better at it.”

One bright spot in Georgia’s game was the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Butler, who tied for the most Bulldog points with 10, going 5-for-8 shooting. But on a night like Wednesday, Butler said he wasn’t pleased with his play.

“It wasn’t worse than that?” he asked of his shooting. “It felt pretty bad. I couldn’t knock down a 3-pointer, so that really disappointed me.

“I don’t feel it was my best effort because I don’t feel it was my team’s best effort. That really hurt of course because it’s my last year here and being able to come play this team here, I definitely wanted this win.”

As the Gators began to pull away by 30 points in the second half, Butler said that because of the massive amounts of mistakes he and his teammates made, it wasn’t hard to believe his team was down by such a large margin even after being down only one late in the first half.

“It’s not surprising, it’s just disappointing for the simple fact that we let them pull away the way they did,” Butler said.

Mistakes aside, there’s at least one Bulldog that thinks the real problem for his team is age.

“We are young,” said senior guard/forward Terrance Woodbury, who had a game-high four turnovers, “and I feel that’s the reason we can’t turn this corner. “I don’t know how long that’s going to last. I know we have good players and we’ve got a good system, but I don’t know what it’s going to take to turn this (season) around.”

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