After battling a second consecutive game in overtime, Florida didn’t finish on the winning end this time around.
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera shot the game-winner near the top of the key with four seconds remaining to give the Georgetown Hoyas (4-0) a 66-65 victory over the No. 18 Florida Gators (2-2) in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
After Smith-Rivera put the Hoyas up by one point, Florida guard Eli Carter raced down the court with no timeouts left to put up a desperation three-pointer that banked off the rim and handed the Gators another tough defeat.
Smith-Rivera lead all scorers with 17 points for Georgetown including his game-winning shot over Michael Frazier II to send the Gators to the losers bracket.
“They made one more play than we did and it cost us the game,” forward Jacob Kurtz said.
One more play was what slid the dagger through Florida as the Gators had to play through another highly-contested game that went down to the wire.
Despite having both of their injured players return in guard Eli Carter and forward Dorian Finney-Smith, the Gators still remained short-handed from a victory they desperately sought.
“I thought we had a lot of self-inflicted wounds,” head coach Billy Donovan said. “We had 10 turnovers in the first half, that hurt us and then obviously we missed some open shots and plays around the basket and I thought we fouled them too much and put them at the free throw line.”
What hurt Florida the most was the poor start they had to the game offensively.
The Gators shot 10-of-31 at 32 percent from the field and were 3-of-11 from beyond the arc at the half.
At one point in the first half the Gators went seven minutes without scoring and they wouldn’t grab the lead back until 2:10 left of the game after a Kasey Hill lay up.
However, Florida was able to remain in the game with Georgetown as they were 17 lead changes including the overtime period.
The injured Finney-Smith lead the Gators with 16 points despite playing with a brace on his left hand followed by Frazier II with 12 points, who only shot 2-of-8 from the floor.
Jon Horford tagged on a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds as he battled a cut chin after getting elbowed in the face by Georgetown’s Joshua Smith in the first half. Horford would play the rest of the game with a large bandage attached to his chin.
Carter also played despite his injury, but only added six points.
Florida now falls to the losers bracket to face Alabama-Birmingham on Thursday at 9:30 p.m. as Georgetown advances to face No. 2 Wisconsin.