January 13, 2019 / 1:58 AM / 6 months ago

No. 3 Tennessee handles Gators for 10th straight win

After fouling out with just four points Tuesday night against Missouri, junior forward Grant Williams bounced back with 20 points Saturday night as No. 3 Tennessee pulled away late for a 78-67 win over the Florida Gators in Gainesville, Fla.

Junior guard Jordan Bowden added 17 points off the bench for the Volunteers (14-1, 3-0 SEC), who extended their win streak to 10 games.

Senior guard Admiral Schofield had 14 points, including a big 3-pointer with 45 seconds left that extended Tennessee’s lead to 72-67. Tennessee then scored six straight points to finish off the Gators.

Senior guard KeVaughn Allen led the Gators (9-6, 1-2 SEC) with 18 points, and freshman guard Noah Locke added 16 points.

Florida led by as many as six points early in the second half and went up 56-53 on an Allen 3-pointer with 8:19 left.

Locke hit a 3-pointer to put the Gators up 63-60 with 5:45 left, but Bowden answered with a 3-pointer and a steal and breakaway dunk, putting Tennessee ahead to stay at 65-63.

The Gators were able to feed off the crowd fueled from a pregame speech from football coach Dan Mullen in building a 38-35 halftime lead. Florida shot 41.4 percent from the field in the first half, and 40.9 percent (9-22) from 3-point range.

A layup by Schofield put Tennessee up 17-11, but the Gators answered with a 12-0 run.

Allen cut Tennessee’s lead to 17-15 with a four-point play, then gave Florida a 20-17 lead with a 3-pointer from the corner. Locke hit another trey to extend the lead to 23-17.

Florida led 36-29 on a layup by sophomore swingman Deaundrae Ballard before the Volunteers closed the half on a 6-2 run.

Junior guard Lamonte Turner hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 36-32. After a pair of Florida free throws, Turner hit another 3-pointer to cut Florida’s lead to 38-35 at halftime.

Turner added 12 points off the bench for the Volunteers, who shot 52.7 percent from the floor for the game, while the Gators finished at 35.2 percent.

—Field Level Media

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