Georgia’s Mike White returns to Florida but Bulldogs lose

Georgia coach Mike White returned to Florida to face the team he coached for seven seasons, but his Bulldogs lost to the Gators 82-75 on Saturday in Gainesville, Fla.

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Florida’s Riley Kugel threw down a pair of dunks in the final half-minute to finish off the Bulldogs.

Terry Roberts made 4 of 8 3-pointers and led Georgia (11-4, 1-1 SEC) with 25 points. Jabri Abdur-Rahim was 4-of-6 on 3-point shots and added 12 points off the bench, and Braelen Bridges scored 10.

Kyle Lofton, a graduate transfer from St. Bonaventure, scored 18 points to lead the Gators’ offensive effort, and Colin Castleton blocked seven shots and grabbed eight rebounds to anchor Florida’s defensive effort while putting up 12 points and making five assists.

Georgia built a 23-10 lead midway through the first half before Florida countered to take a 39-34 lead at intermission.

The Bulldogs took the lead briefly in the second half after Mardrez McBride drilled a 3 and Kario Oquendo scored at the basket for a 44-43 advantage with 16:44 left.

After Myreon Jones put the Gators in front with a layup off a feed from Castleton, Roberts scored at the basket for a 46-45 lead. But Florida responded with back-to-back layups, and Lofton turned in a heady three-point play on an in-bounds play underneath the Florida basket when he bounced the ball off a defender’s back, recovered it and laid it in drawing the foul.

Florida 82, Georgia 75

Alex Fudge hit from deep to push the Florida lead to 13 with 9:37 to play, but the Bulldogs battled back. Abdur-Rahim hit three 3′s in the second half, and Georgia made 7 3′s from deep in the half. Oquendo’s reduced Georgia’s deficit 78-75, but Lofton made two foul shots, then found Kugel for his second dunk with six seconds left to seal it.

Will Richard finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for Florida (8-7, 1-2), and reserves Jones and Reeves contributed 13 and 12 points respectively.

Georgia hosts Mississippi State on Wednesday.