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February 11, 2014

Instant Analysis: Gators outlast Vols in Knoxville



Wins don't always come with difficulty for No. 3 Florida these days, but Tuesday night was about extinguishing a few demons and extending a winning streak to 16 games. The Gators (22-2, 11-0 Southeastern Conference) traded punches and eventually received a unanimous decision against the Tennessee Volunteers (15-9, 6-5 SEC) in a 67-58 victory. Instant Analysis takes a look.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: There was 1:30 left when Patric Young dove for the rebound off his own missed shot, tossing it back into play and into the hands of his team. Florida had the possession needed to kill time and quickly made two free throws to make it an eight-point game with less than one minute left.

HE STOLE THE SHOW: The Gators went as Scottie Wilbekin went. At times, that was a bad thing as Wilbekin was hardly a model of offensive consistency throughout the evening, shooting 5 of 16 from the field and 1 of 6 from beyond the arc. But he made up for it in plenty of other areas. Wilbekin set the tone early defensively and finished with a full line -- a career-high 21 points, six assists, four steals, three rebounds.

THE STAT DOESN'T LIE: Florida is hardly known as a free-throw shooting juggernaut. The Gators went into Knoxville shooting 65.9 percent from the charity stripe, hardly the kind of total that warrants confidence late in close games. But that changed when it needed to. In a tight game that saw numerous free-throw opportunities late, the Gators made 77.3 percent (17 for 22) of their free throws. That's their third-highest total of the season and their highest in SEC play. Wilbekin again led the way at 10 of 12.

WHAT A PLAY: Freshman point guard Kasey Hill took over the game for a brief period in the second half with two big buckets to extend Florida's lead. His second started with a strip of Jeronne Maymon which led to Hill sprinting up the floor, deciding against a pass and hitting a reverse layup over a Tennessee defender to make the lead seven.

THE BOTTOM LINE: It's Thompson-Boling Arena, and Florida will take it any way it can get it. The Gators entered Tuesday night having lost seven of their last eight at Tennessee's home arena and 5-12 in Knoxville in Billy Donovan's previous 17 seasons as coach. But this Florida team gets the job done and fights through outside factors. A veteran bunch, the Gators didn't flinch in front of a primetime crowd desperate for a resume-building win or alongside a Tennessee team playing the kind of game that has avoided it all too often this season.

UP NEXT: The Gators will look to end a six-game losing streak at Rupp Arena Saturday night at 9 ET when they take on the Wildcats (18-5, 8-2 SEC).


Official Basketball Box Score
Florida vs Tennessee
2/11/14 7:00 p.m. at Knoxville, Tenn. (Thompson-Boling Arena)


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VISITORS: Florida 22-2, 11-0 SEC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
15 Yeguete, Will....... f  2-3    1-1    1-1    2  3  5   0   6  0  2  0  0  25
24 Prather, Casey...... f  2-7    1-1    4-6    3  5  8   2   9  1  4  1  0  25
04 Young, Patric....... c  3-7    0-0    0-0    5  1  6   5   6  0  0  0  0  23
05 Wilbekin, Scottie... g  5-17   1-6   10-12   1  2  3   1  21  6  0  0  4  35
20 Frazier, Michael.... g  4-10   3-6    0-0    1  1  2   2  11  0  0  1  2  32
00 Hill, Kasey.........    2-6    0-2    0-1    0  0  0   1   4  0  2  0  2  20
10 Finney-Smith, Dorian    1-6    0-3    2-2    3  2  5   3   4  3  2  0  1  27
23 Walker, Chris.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    1  2  3   2   0  0  2  0  0   5
25 Walker, DeVon.......    2-2    2-2    0-0    0  0  0   1   6  0  0  0  1   8
   TEAM................                         2  5  7
   Totals..............   21-58   8-21  17-22  18 21 39  17  67 10 12  2 10 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-33 36.4%   2nd Half:  9-25 36.0%   Game: 36.2%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-14 35.7%   2nd Half:  3-7  42.9%   Game: 38.1%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-6  66.7%   2nd Half: 13-16 81.3%   Game: 77.3%    1


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HOME TEAM: Tennessee 15-9, 6-5 SEC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 Stokes, Jarnell..... f  7-11   0-0    6-10   5  6 11   4  20  2  0  0  0  35
34 Maymon, Jeronne..... f  1-2    0-0    0-1    2  7  9   2   2  1  8  3  4  34
01 Richardson, Josh.... g  5-11   3-6    0-0    0  4  4   2  13  0  1  2  0  34
15 Thompson, Darius.... g  0-2    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   2   0  1  0  0  1  17
52 McRae, Jordan....... g  6-16   2-6    3-4    1  2  3   0  17  1  5  2  1  37
02 Barton, Antonio.....    3-6    0-2    0-0    0  1  1   4   6  3  0  1  1  23
04 Moore, Armani.......    0-0    0-0    0-2    0  2  2   3   0  0  0  1  0  11
21 Davis, A.J..........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   0  0  1  0  0   9
   TEAM................
   Totals..............   22-48   5-14   9-17   9 23 32  18  58  8 15  9  7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-24 62.5%   2nd Half:  7-24 29.2%   Game: 45.8%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-6  50.0%   2nd Half:  2-8  25.0%   Game: 35.7%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  1-5  20.0%   2nd Half:  8-12 66.7%   Game: 52.9%    4


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Officials: Joe Lindsay, Don Daily, Joe DeRosa
Technical fouls: Florida-None. Tennessee-None.
Attendance: 18009
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Florida.......................   33   34  -   67
Tennessee.....................   34   24  -   58

Points in the paint-UF 26,UT 22. Points off turnovers-UF 19,UT 8.
2nd chance points-UF 7,UT 7. Fast break points-UF 9,UT 6.
Bench points-UF 14,UT 6. Score tied-4 times. Lead changed-3 times.
Last FG-UF 2nd-02:24, UT 2nd-00:25.
Largest lead-UF by 9 2nd-00:38, UT by 6 1st-03:51.


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