Tennessee vs Florida

No. 6 Florida keeps rolling with rout of Tennessee


GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Having dropped three consecutive games to Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee, No. 6 Florida had been waiting for a chance to end the losing streak.

The Gators welcomed it and wanted it -- and it showed.

Michael Frazier II scored 17 points, Scottie Wilbekin added 13 and Florida handled Tennessee 67-41 on Saturday for the team's 11th consecutive win.

The Gators (17-2, 6-0 SEC) beat the Volunteers for the first time in nearly two years and extended their school record for consecutive home wins to 26.

"We had a little chip on our shoulder because they kicked our butts the last three times," said Florida center Patric Young, who added 10 points. "I can actually remember each loss, and the last one was the worst because they were on the court celebrating. They punched us, and we didn't respond well the last three years.

"Tonight, we were so ready for whatever they had to throw at us. We were all locked in."

Especially on the defensive end.

Florida held the Volunteers (12-7, 3-3) to a season-low in points and shooting percentage (27). The Volunteers' backcourt really struggled, with leading scorer Jordan McRae, Antonio Barton and Josh Richardson combining to make 2 of 29 shots.

"They turned us over, they sped us up, they did a great job," Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said. "We forced some shots, but you give that defense credit for doing that."

Jarnell Stokes led Tennessee with 16 points and 10 rebounds -- his 11th double-double of the season.

Stokes kept the Vols in the game early, but faded down the stretch. Jeronne Maymon chipped in eight points and seven boards.

"This is just my observation, but I thought those guys, Stokes and Maymon, were so incredible on the backboard with their effort," Gators coach Billy Donovan said. "To offensive rebound and to chase balls like they did, they got worn down, they got tired and rightfully so. Those guys are carrying around a lot of weight and size and strength."

The Gators led 26-19 at halftime and pulled away with a 21-5 run after the break. Wilbekin's floater in the lane got things started, and Frazier's consecutive 3-pointers really opened it up.

After Will Yeguete's dunk and Dorian Finney-Smith's consecutive layups in transition, the Gators pulled ahead by 17 and looked really in rhythm.

The only thing left at that point was to start making some highlight plays, and boy, they did.

Kasey Hill hit a pull-up jumper. Young followed with a nifty, reverse post move and later got the sellout crowd rocking with a one-handed dunk on an alley-oop feed from Frazier.

It was just what Florida had hoped for after the last three meetings.

"It's a gift to be desperate," Donovan said. "I thought we played closer to our identity and our potential than we have before. I think the last two games we didn't do that. It's encouraging to me to see our guys come out with that kind of focus."

Florida coasted from there, winning for the 16th time in its last 17 games. The only loss in that stretch was a buzzer-beating defeat at then-No. 12 Connecticut in early December.

Florida shot 48 percent from the field, including 5 of 16 from behind the arc. The Gators scored 38 points in the paint, made 10 of 13 free throws and finished with a season-low six turnovers.

Stokes posed problems for Florida early. But Donovan's full-court press gave McRae, Barton and Richardson fits. The Vols had just 13 turnovers, but they ended up taking countless ill-advised shots and had little, if anything, come easy.

"It was our defense," Frazier said. "They couldn't score, which was the game plan for us, to lock down and guard on defense."

The defensive gem helped Florida sweep its fifth straight Thursday-Saturday setup in conference play. This one came after the team was stuck in Tuscaloosa overnight Thursday because of mechanical plane issues. The Gators returned home around noon Friday and had to alter their practice schedule, but they showed no problems against Tennessee.

Florida, which has lost in three straight regional finals in the NCAA tournament, is trying to build a resume that will get it a No. 1 seed and plenty of momentum for a season that started with high expectations. This was another solid win in the right direction.

"I feel like for us seniors, it's just a little bit more important for us knowing it's our last go-around," Wilbekin said. "We have a different level of focus."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Casey Prather chips in 12 points for No. 6 Florida, which coasts to an easy victory over the Volunteers. (USATSI)
Casey Prather chips in 12 points for No. 6 Florida, which coasts to an easy victory over the Volunteers. (USATSI)
Tennessee (12-7)192241
Florida #6 (17-2) «264167
TENN:J. Stokes 16 Pts
TENN:J. Stokes 10 Reb
TENN:J. Stokes 2 Ast
FLA:M. Frazier II 17 Pts
FLA:D. Finney-Smith 8 Reb
FLA:K. Hill 3 Ast

Related Video


CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike White Villanova Wildcats 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt

Villanova Wildcats 2016 National Champs
Get the Locker Room Gear!
Shop Now

Jarnell Stokes
Michael Frazier II
Tennessee Volunteers
J. McRae, G301-152-27125
J. Stokes, F306-94-8102416
J. Maymon, F294-80-07028
A. Barton, G241-70-02032
J. Richardson, G230-70-03030
A. Moore, G181-14-41116
D. Thompson, G171-30-03102
D. Reese, G70-30-01000
D. Edwards, G61-30-02022
R. Ndiaye, C60-00-01000
Q. Chievous, G50-00-01120
B. Lopez, G50-00-00000
G. Campbell, GDid Not Play
A. Davis, G-FDid Not Play
R. Hubbs III, GDid Not Play
Totals 15-5610-143861941
Florida Gators
S. Wilbekin, G324-84-531113
M. Frazier II, G325-84-442217
W. Yeguete, F232-70-04134
C. Prather, F225-72-330412
P. Young, C225-70-150310
K. Hill, G261-60-03312
D. Finney-Smith, F254-90-08139
D. Walker, G-F130-10-00000
J. Kurtz, F20-00-01000
B. Donovan, G20-10-00000
L. Edwards, F10-00-00000
D. Harris, F-CDid Not Play
E. Carter, GDid Not Play
D. Graham, GDid Not Play
Totals 26-5410-133181767
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Miss. State0-03-0246
Texas A&M0-03-04
S. Carolina0-04-1164
Ole Miss0-03-113
Other games
FSU 56 Final
IOWA 76 Final
NW 50
SYR 64 Final
TEXAS 74 Final
UGA 54 Final
UK 79
KSU 75 Final
WVU 75 Final
NOVA 94 Final
MU 85
OKLA 74 Final
WISC 72 Final
PUR 58
PITT 83 Final
MD 79
MICH 80 Final
WICH 78 Final
KAN 91 Final
TCU 69
SDSU 74 Final