Just to get technical, momentum changed

Published: Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 1, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Taurean Green's emotions surged out of control. So did Kevin Stallings'. And King Rice's. And Walter Hodge's. And Shan Foster's.

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Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings tries to talk with one of the referees after one of his assistants was thrown out of the game.

TRACY WILCOX/The Gainesville Sun

If the intensity that pulsated inside the O'Connell Center during the second half of Florida's 74-64 win over Vanderbilt on Wednesday night could be measured, it should be done so this way: Five technical fouls were issued over a four-minute stretch of the second half.

The flurry included the ejection of King, Vanderbilt's assistant coach, and ended with offsetting technicals to Hodge and Foster.

It all happened so fast, the final technical on Foster wasn't announced over the public address system until the next dead ball after it was issued.

"It was crazy," Florida's Green said.

It was Green who got it all started when he mouthed off to official Pat Adams when no foul was called during his drive to the basket, two-and-a-half minutes into the second half.

Green admitted he deserved the technical, and his teammates agreed.

"Go ask him what he said," teammate Joakim Noah said. "How do you not get a technical for what he said? Stupid little dude."

Green wouldn't reveal what he said, but admitted he deserved the technical.

"I shouldn't have done that," said Green, whose last technical foul came during the final game of his senior year at Cardinal Gibbons High in Fort Lauderdale. "My emotions got the best of me."

Less than a minute later, at the 16:35 mark, Vanderbilt's bench blew up when no foul was called on Dan Cage's missed layup in the paint that went out of bounds.

Stallings was issued a technical for arguing.

"Dan got hit on the elbow. I saw it," Stallings said. "Then the explanation was the defender got the ball. So I said, 'Then it should be our ball.' The explanation kept changing."

Amidst the confusion, official Doug Shows then issued a second technical on Vanderbilt's bench. It was an indirect technical on Rice, an automatic ejection. Stallings, though, claimed that Rice was yelling at his players, not officials.

"Dan thought King was yelling at him," Stallings said.

Vanderbilt held a slim, 41-37 lead at the time. The double technical seemed to swing the momentum Florida's way.

"When the coach gets called for the technical we taste blood," Noah said. "We feel it in the air."

It cost Vandy six points. Green sank three free throws then buried a 3-pointer to put the Gators up 43-41.

"Obviously there was momentum shift there," Florida coach Billy Donovan said.

Finally, a double technical was issued at the 13:28 mark when Hodge and Foster exchanged words during a dead ball.

Both coaches praised the way officials called the game afterward and said the technical binge was simply a result of a high-stakes game being played in a charged environment.

"It was just two teams that wanted to win playing each other real hard," Stallings said. "That's all it was."

Contact Brandon Zimmerman at 374-5051 or zimmerb@gvillesun.com.

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