Florida blows past Georgia in SEC opener

Associated PressJanuary 9, 2013 

Mike Rosario scored 19 points, Erik Murphy added 11 despite playing with a broken rib and No. 11 Florida opened SEC play with a 77-44 victory over Georgia on Wednesday night.

The Gators improved to 12-5 in conference openers under head coach Billy Donovan, including 7-0 at home. They also extended their recent dominance against the Bulldogs, winning for 16th time in the past 19 meetings.

The latest one was no big surprise since the Gators (11-2) have played well most of the season while Georgia (6-8) has struggled against just about everyone on its schedule.

The Bulldogs, however, had won four in a row after losing six of seven. Georgia turned the ball over 19 times and fell to 0-3 against ranked teams this season.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the team’s lone bright spot, led the Bulldogs with 11 points.

Rosario made 6 of 10 shots from the field and all four from the free-throw line.

Murphy’s night was even more impressive.

Donovan called Murphy “doubtful” Monday because a broken rib under his right arm. Murphy went through shootaround Wednesday and felt good enough to play with a protective pad around his rib cage. He made 3-of-6 shots from 3-point range.

Patric Young chipped in 11 points for the Gators, who shot 52.7 percent from the field and made 12-of-26 shots from 3-point range.

Casey Prather, who started in place of Murphy, scored the first three baskets of the game. He finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Will Yeguete had been expected to start over Prather, but the power forward injured his right knee in practice and was scratched from the starting lineup. He played sparingly, was scoreless and kept ice on his knee while on the bench.

The injuries were the latest setback for Donovan’s team.

Point guard Scottie Wilbekin was suspended to start the season and has played lately with a broken finger on his shooting hand. Reserve forward Cody Prather left the team a few days before the season opener. Prather missed several games because of multiple concussions. Murphy missed practice time because of migraine headaches. Young was benched for a lack of effort in practice.

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