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#3 Tennessee Vols Basketball nabs 78-67 win at Florida

 

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Tennessee Volunteers - UT VolsGainesville, FL – A drive by Grant Williams to the lane followed by a dish out to the corner to Admiral Schofield for a 3-pointer was the final blow that gave the No. 3 Tennessee Vols basketball team its first win at Florida since 2012, defeating the Gators 78-67 in Exactech Arena.

After being a close game throughout, the Vols (14-1, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) ended the last 44 second of the game on a 9-0 run to clinch the 11-point victory. Late in the game, Tennessee was able thwart the Gators (9-6, 1-2 SEC) offense. Florida was held without a field goal over the last 3:35 of the game and scored just four points in the final six minutes of play.

Tennessee Volunteers guard Admiral Schofield (5) drives for the basket as Florida Gators forward Dontay Bassett (21) defends during the first half at Exactech Arena. (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)

Tennessee Volunteers guard Admiral Schofield (5) drives for the basket as Florida Gators forward Dontay Bassett (21) defends during the first half at Exactech Arena. (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)

The Vols 78 points in the game are the second most Florida has allowed this season and the most since allowing 81 points in their season-opening loss to Florida State. Williams finished with a game-high 20 points while also leading Tennessee with nine rebounds in the win.

After a 3-pointer by Allen made it a 41-35 game at the 19:08 mark, Tennessee responded with a 15-4 run, which was capped off by a one-handed slam from Williams that forced Florida to call a timeout with 14:04 left.

The Allen made three was one of just seven made baskets for Florida in the second half as Tennessee held them to 28 percent shooting. For the game, the Florida offense shot just 35.2 percent from the field for the game.

After having just three points at the midway point, Jordan Bowden helped put Tennessee in front in the second half, scoring 12 consecutive points for the Vols over a 1:49 stretch in the second half. His effort put the team back in front for good with 5:36 to play in the game as he got out on the fastbreak and threw it down with a right-hand jam.

Bowden finished the game with 17 points including going 6-of-7 from the line and led Tennessee with two steals. Jordan Bone tallied a team-high five assists adding eight points and five rebounds.

The Big Orange jumped out to an early 17-11 lead behind a three 3-pointers at the 14:20 mark. UT ended up knocking down six treys in the half and shot 48 percent (14-of-29) from the floor.

However, it was the Gators who had the hot hand from deep, hitting nine 3-pointers to take a 38-35 lead into halftime. Of its 29 shots in the period, 22 of Florida’s attempts came from behind the arc.

After trailing by as much as seven points in the first half. Lamonte Turner’s three pointer with 38 seconds left in the half cut the deficit down to just three points to give Tennessee some momentum, heading into the halftime break.

Williams posted a solid half with nine points, four rebounds and three assists, while Turner chipped in eight points behind two threes in the final 2:33 to make it a one-possession game at the break.

Doing it All

Grant Williams filled out the box score Saturday night. The junior finished with a team-high 20 points and nine rebounds to go along with four assists, two blocks and two steals. It marked the fourth time this season Williams shot 70 percent or better from the field and is the third time in the last four games.

 

Cracking the Code

Florida came into tonight’s game as the No. 6 scoring defense in the country and the top in the SEC. Tennessee finished the game with 78 points which is 18 points better than the Gators season average of 60.0 points per game. It is the second most points Florida has given up this season and the most since their season-opening loss to Florida State (81 points).

Second Half Run

Tennessee held Florida without a field goal for more than 6:00 minutes after an Allen made three to start the second half. During that stretch, the Vols went on a 15-5 run to take a 50-46 lead at the 14:04 mark of the second half. The run included six points Grant Williams including a dunk, layup and two free throw makes.

Jordan Bow-WOW-den

After having three points at half, Bowden exploded in the second half, scoring 12 straight points for Tennessee over a two-minute stretch from the 7:27 to 5:36 mark. The run ended when Bowden assisted on a post field to John Fulkerson to make it 67-63 in favor of the Vols with 5:01 to play. Bowden finished the game with 17 points.

Up Next for Tennessee Vols

The Tennessee Vols return home for a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Tuesday night, January 15th. The game will tip at 7:00pm and will be televised on ESPN2. There are still tickets remaining for the game that can be purchased on AllVols.com.

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