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Saturday February 5, 2000Freshmen Lead Men's Hoops to 85-66 win over UGA

Gainesville, FL

Led by their freshmen, the 12th-ranked University of Florida men's basketball game overcame a slow start and defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 85-66 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center on Saturday night.

Freshman guard Brett Nelson (pictured left) scored 17 points and Georgia native freshman forward Donnell Harvey added 16 as the Gators used a 27-11 second half run to break open a tight game. Florida led by only four points at the half.

Harvey, Nelson and fellow freshman guard Justin Hamilton combined to score all the points during a 13-4 run that gave the Gators a 64-44 lead over the Bulldogs.

Nelson made three three-pointers during the flurry. In his post-game radio interview, head coach Billy Donovan credited his first-year players for changing the tempo of the game. "It was good to see our young guys, from an energy standpoint, really get the pace of the game going up and down the floor".

That kind of pace helped force Georgia into 30 turnovers. Hamilton and sophomore forwardMike Miller scored ten points apiece for the Gators while sophomore center Udonis Haslem narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and ten rebounds.

D.A. Layne and Shon Coleman shared scoring honors for the Bulldogs with 17 points apiece. The Gators are now 17-4 overall and 6-2 in the SEC East.

Georgia is now 9-13 overall and 2-7 in the conference. The Gators next game will be a nationally-televised showdown with 14th-ranked Kentucky at the O'Connell Center Tuesday night on ESPN. The opening tip is set for 9:00.

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