Florida 57, Vanderbilt 54

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith scored 19 points off the bench, including a clutch 3-pointer with 30.6 seconds remaining, lifting No. 1 Florida to a 57-54 win over Vanderbilt on Tuesday night at Memorial Gymnasium.

Florida (26-6, 15-0 SEC) won its 20th straight game and clinched a share of the Southeastern Conference title. Senior center Patric Young added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Gators.

Senior forward Rod Odom led Vanderbilt (15-12, 7-8 SEC) with 12 points, with guard Dai-Jon Parker adding 11 points for the Commodores.

After Vanderbilt point guard Kyle Fuller made two free-throws to cut Florida’s lead to 54-52, the Gators turned to Finney-Smith with the shot clock winding down. Finney-Smith answered with a 21-footer from the left side, extending Florida’s lead to 57-52.

A Fuller layup with 18.7 seconds left cut Florida’s lead to 57-54, and Gators senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin missed the front end of a one-and-one with 10.0 seconds remaining. Out of a timeout, Fuller missed a game-tying 3-point attempt that would have sent the game to overtime.

The Gators attacked Vanderbilt inside early, with Young scoring six of Florida’s first nine points. Down 11-9, Florida went on a 13-0 run, fueled by its press and some timely 3-pointers from sophomore guard Michael Frazier II. Senior forward Casey Prather had a steal and breakway dunk on the press to put Florida up 13-11. After a Young putback extended the Gators’ lead to 16-11, Frazier followed with back-to-back 3-pointers give Florida a 22-11 lead.

Down 26-16, Vanderbilt responded with a 6-0 run, with a 3-pointer from forward Shelby Moats cutting Florida’s lead to 26-22. But Florida sophomore guard DeVon Walker responded with a 3-pointer to extend the Gators’ lead back to 29-22.

After a 3-pointer from Parker cut Florida’s lead to 30-25 with 7.9 seconds remaining in the first half, Wilbekin banked in a fall-away mid-range jumper, putting Florida up 32-25. It was Florida’s first halftime lead since Feb. 1 against Texas A&M.

The Gators scored 10 first-half points off Vanderbilt’s 11 turnovers. But the Commodores stayed in the game by going 4 of 9 from 3-point range in the first half.

NOTES: Florida freshman PG Kasey Hill sat out his third straight game with a groin strain. … Florida entered the game No. 1 in the AP poll for the first time since the week of Feb. 12, 2007. … Vanderbilt entered its matchup with Florida 8-16 against No. 1 teams, which included an 83-70 win at Memorial Gym against No. 1 Florida on Feb. 17, 2007. … With four 3-pointers in the first half, Vanderbilt extended its streak of at least one 3-pointer made in a game to 892 straight games.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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