Volunteers edge out Gators

Published: Saturday, January 31, 2004 at 9:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 31, 2004 at 9:12 p.m.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Scooter McFadgon scored 24 points and Brandon Crump added 11 points and 11 rebounds to help Tennessee rally in the final minutes and beat No. 22 Florida 65-63 on Saturday afternoon.

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Tennessee's Scooter McFadgon (2) shoots over Florida's Bonell Colas during the first half in Knoxville, Tenn.

AP Photo/Wade Payne

The Volunteers (11-6, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) blew an eight-point lead early in the second half but never let the Gators get too far ahead.

Tennessee tied it twice in the last nine minutes before retaking the lead with 1:33 left on Justin Albrecht's two free throws.

After McFadgon added two more free throws to extend the lead to 64-61 with 13.8 seconds to go, Florida (13-5, 4-3) got a break when Albrecht fouled Anthony Roberson shooting a 3-pointer.

Three free throws would have tied it, but Roberson missed the first and made the last two as the home crowd screamed. Roberson then committed his fifth foul on C.J. Watson, who made the first of two free throws to seal it. Florida's Lee Humphrey missed a desperation jumper at the buzzer.

The Gators won the first game this season by 38 points in Gainesville, but couldn't overcome Tennessee's home-court advantage.

The Vols won for only the second time in eight meetings with Florida since 2001. Watson also added 10 points.

Matt Walsh, who was booed every time he touched the ball, and Roberson finished with 17 points apiece and Christian Drejer added 10.

The Vols ended their four-game losing streak despite shooting 37 percent from the field, but held the Gators to 39 percent.

Florida lost its lead midway through the first half and watched Tennessee start the second half with an 8-1 run to go ahead 40-32.

The Gators missed their first five field-goal attempts after halftime before Drejer's 3 with 13:32 left. His basket started a 16-4 run and Roberson ended it with another 3 to put Florida ahead 50-46 with 9:43 remaining.

The Gators couldn't extend the lead past four points, and Tennessee kept chipping away.

Tennessee trailed in the first half until a 12-1 run in which the Vols held the Gators scoreless for six minutes and Florida coach Billy Donovan was whistled for a technical foul.

Crump slammed in a rebound after Jemere Hendrix landed on top of Bonell Colas and stayed on his back until after the shot went down. Donovan apparently thought a foul should have been called but the referee objected to his tone. McFadgon made both free throws to finish the run and put Tennessee ahead 29-19.

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