Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s 66-49 win over Tennessee

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Three takeaways from UF’s 66-49 win over Tennessee at the O’Connell

– For as well as the Gators played in the first half offensively, Florida did a nice job defensively as well, limiting the Vols to 44.4 percent shooting and 28.6 percent from 3-point range. The Gators held Tennessee senior guard Josh Richardson to just 7 points, below his season-average of 15.9 points per game. Florida also scored 18 points off turnovers and had 6 steals.

— Sophomore point guard Kasey Hill made some good decisions throughout the game and finished with 7 points, 8 assists and just 2 turnovers. Florida coach Billy Donovan said Hill is sometimes a victim of getting down on himself too much. “I keep trying to explain to him if you’re competing you have to move past that,” Donovan said. “When you get like that as a point guard, everybody is looking to you for leadership and you’re down. Who are you giving confidence to? But he always kind of comes back the next day, he says all right we’re starting over, it’s a new day. I really respect that about him.” Hill had a couple of nice finishes in the lane and a pretty drive and jumper in the lane in the closing seconds  of the first half with the floor spread that put the Gators up 40-22 at halftime.

— Florida went 9 of 14 from the free-throw line (64.3 percemt), not great, but progress from 9 of 23 against Missouri. After making just 1 of 4 free-throw attempts in the first half, the Gators made 8 of their next 9 to maintain a double-digit lead in the second half. “Ir means a lot, especially when you think about how many games we’ve lost by a few points, a point or two,” Florida senior center Jon Horford said. “Knocking down those free-throws, still even in a game we won by double-digits, is critical. It’s critical today and it will be critical going forward.”