Final: No. 3 Tennessee 78, Florida 67

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Florida guard Jalen Hudson puts up points in the first half Saturday against Tennessee at Exatech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. [Cyndi Chambers/Gainesville Sun Correspondent]

What happened: The Gators battled all night and had a chance at the end, but again failed to win a close game against the third-ranked Vols.

Florida got a steal late in the game down two, but Noah Locke missed a 3 with 1:09 to play. Tennessee (14-1, 3-0 SEC) then went on a 9-0 run to close out the game.

Florida led 38-35 at the half thanks to nine made 3-pointers. But the Gators missed 10 of their first 13 shots to start the second half and fell behind by five.

The Gators (9-6, 1-2) fought back to take a 63-60 lead on a KeVaughn Allen 3, bit Tennessee scored seven straight points, five of them by Jordan Bowden.

Double figures:

KeVaughn Allen, Florida 18 points

Noah Locke, Florida 16 points

Grant Williams, Tennessee 20 points

Jordan Bowden, Tennessee 17 points

Admiral Schofield, Tennessee 14 points

Lamonte Turner, Tennessee 12 points

Inside the box score: Andrew Nembhard had a strange game indeed. He missed eight of nine shots, including a pair of wide-open layups, but did have five assists.

Next up: Florida is back on the road for a Tuesday game with Mississippi State at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network. The Bulldogs are 12-3 and 0-2 in the SEC after an 81-77 loss to Ole Miss on Saturday.  

No. 3 TENNESSEE 78, FLORIDA 67
TENNESSEE (14-1)

Williams 8-11 3-4 20, Schofield 6-11 0-0 14, Alexander 1-2 0-0 2, Pons 1-3 0-0 3, Bone 3-8 0-0 8, Fulkerson 1-1 0-0 2, Walker 0-0 0-0 0, Turner 4-8 2-3 12, Bowden 5-11 6-7 17. Totals 29-55 11-14 78.

FLORIDA (9-6)

Hayes 2-3 4-7 8, Allen 6-9 1-1 18, Hudson 1-7 0-0 2, Locke 4-10 4-4 16, Nembhard 1-10 0-0 2, K.Johnson 2-4 0-0 5, Bassett 1-3 4-4 7, Stone 0-4 4-5 4, Ballard 2-4 0-0 5, Okauru 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-54 17-21 67.

Halftime_Florida 38-35. 3-Point Goals_Tennessee 9-23 (Schofield 2-5, Bone 2-5, Turner 2-6, Williams 1-1, Bowden 1-3, Pons 1-3), Florida 12-32 (Allen 5-6, Locke 4-9, K.Johnson 1-2, Ballard 1-3, Bassett 1-3, Stone 0-2, Nembhard 0-3, Hudson 0-4). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Tennessee 32 (Williams 9), Florida 23 (Hayes 7). Assists_Tennessee 15 (Bone 5), Florida 11 (Nembhard 5). Total Fouls_Tennessee 19, Florida 16.

17 COMMENTS

  1. A tough loss. Nembhard, looked like and played like a freshman in that game, and in my opinion, his missed layups, ill advised passes and poor shot selection cost us the game. And what was Mike White thinking not having Allen out there at the end prior to the last 24 seconds? Allen had the shot tonight and should have been launching them for the last 3 minutes of the game.

  2. Gators played well but were rattled in the last few positions. Tenn is a very good team and we were fortunate to be in the game. Williams and Scofield are very good. Our freshmen are young and we will only get better. I keep wondering why we don’t have more efficient big men. Maybe next year but then they will only be freshmen. How far are we away from contending. This staff has had 4 years to put a competitive team together. I sure hope they can pull it all together. I really like this staff but they’re in a results business. Go Gators!

  3. We played hard and probably did has well as could be expected as TN is very good. We just lack an inside game to compete with the better teams with that go to inside guy that we don’t have and TN has two – Williams and Schofield. We also have very few guys if any that can drive hard and finish to the basket. Nembhard got a taste of real SEC competition but he’ll get better and he’s good but has he ever run a fast break. Go Gators!!!

  4. Fans wake up and quit with all of the excuses. This is Whites 4th year and for the 4th year we have no big guy in the middle. Why? The vols were 16 of 20 inside the paint??? They out rebounded gators 20-10? The best ball handler, scorer and player on gator team was sitting on bench last 1:30? This is all on WHITE!! He is NOT the guy! Please lets not have to suffer thru another Muschump or Macloser…… It was another terrible hire by the ego maniac Foley… Coach White has never taken a team to an elite 8 or better. A complete unproven coach, from Lousiana Tech???? not even close to the level of coaching the gators should’ve hired to replace Donavan. He cant see the simple writing on the wall. Since he cant, let me tell him: Go Go GO, shoot shoot shoot!!!!!! In his tenure the gators are 6 and 16 when they don’t score 70 points!!!! its not rocket science!!!! score 70 points coach!!! figure it out.. But having your best player and shooter (allen) on the bench the last 2 minutes isn’t the way… Its not rocket science.. Score 70 points and your chances of winning go up by 50%! and maybe just maybe you might try to recruit a center!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! frustrated and needing a change of coach!

    • This can’t be a real post can it? The only thing you have right is that this is CMW’s fourth season. After that, basically nothing you’ve said is correct. Fourth year with no big guy in the middle? Egbunu started for two seasons and would’ve started last season had he been able to recover from his knee surgery. Maybe it’s just me, but 6-11 and 255 seems pretty big. Coach White has never taken a team to the Elite Eight or better? Did an alien invade his body when the Gators made the Elite Eight two years ago? In his tenure the Gators are 6-16 when they don’t score 70 points!!! What!!?? A simple check of the record under CMW shows the Gators have actually won 12 games when scoring less than 70, and they’ve lost 15 games when scoring more than 70. Instead of advising him to score 70, you might want to consider advising him to just score more than the opponent. And just one more thing: even though I’d rather have seen Allen in the game than Hudson, he isn’t the best shooter on the team, either in overall percentage or 3-point percentage. You should actually look things up rather than making them up. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

  5. Just not built to beat a big, long, athletic team like TN. Watched the Duke-FSU game earlier and saw two more of the better teams in the country, one of which Florida got mauled by, and a Duke team just loaded with bigs, length, quick athletes and shooters. You just won’t have much success when your offense is based on the three and no inside game, especially when you play a team with size and athletes, and your own shooters are mediocre at best.

  6. Last night’s loss just confirms how far we are behind the elite teams in college basketball. Nembhard is a nice player but I’m tired of hearing how great he is from all the broadcasters. I do not understand why the coach allows him to stand and dribble for too long before initiating the offense. Plus he can’t shoot. Does this coach draw up any offensive plays because it seems to me all we do is run around like some glorified playground game. Also, it would be nice if we had anyone who could score in the post. Coach White, you’re not at Louisiana Tech. anymore. You have a lot of work to do after the season ends.

  7. What happened?
    Same ole, same ole.
    Leading the game all night losing at the buzzer.
    It is called BAD Coaching in any body’s book.
    It is called players regressing. All of them.
    You might say they lost to superior Tennessee team. What about other games?.