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March 1, 2006

Noah leads Florida over Georgia

Box score

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Joakim Noah had a career-high 37 points and 11 rebounds, helping No. 17 Florida beat Georgia 77-66 Wednesday night and snap a three-game losing streak.

Noah scored on layups, dunks, putbacks, even a baseline drive. He was 19-of-22 from the free throw line, breaking Neal Walk's school record for free throws made. Walk made 18 in 1968.

In short, the Bulldogs had no answer for the 6-foot-11 sophomore forward and son of tennis great Yannick Noah.

Noah came off the bench for the first time this season as Florida's lone senior, Adrian Moss, started his final home game. But he provided an instant spark.

Noah drew a foul and made both free throws for the team's first points. He rolled from there, draining his first 12 free throws.

He was 9-of-14 from the field and scored the most points by a Florida player since Vernon Delancy had 38 against Alabama in 1981.

The Gators (23-6, 9-6 Southeastern Conference) needed his effort, too. The rest of the team was 14-of-34 from the field.

Corey Brewer was the only other Florida player in double figures. He had 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Florida led most of the way, but Georgia (15-13, 5-10) used a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 67-63 with 3:14 remaining.

Noah and Taurean Green, however, came up big down the stretch. Noah rebounded a missed shot and made his final free throw. Green added a 3-pointer with 52 seconds remaining that pushed the lead to 73-65.

Green and Brewer each made two free throws in the closing seconds to secure Florida's first victory since Feb. 15.

The Gators lost their last three against Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama by a combined 13 points.

Mike Mercer scored 16 points for the Bulldogs, who have lost five of six.

For more coverage of the Florida Gators, check out GatorBet.net.
For more coverage of the Georgia Bulldogs, check out UGASports.com.

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