Florida adds to home win streak
Gator defense forces second-half issues for Vanderbilt
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Kenny Boynton scored 18 points, Bradley Beal added 16 and No. 12 Florida beat No. 25 Vanderbilt 73-65 Saturday for its seventh consecutive victory.
Boynton and Beal came up huge in the second half. Beal scored 14 points after halftime. Boynton drained a 3-pointer with 1:10 remaining after the Commodores made it a four-point game and then sank two free throws with 25.9 seconds left to seal Florida's 19th consecutive victory at home.
The Gators (19-4, 7-1 Southeastern Conference), returning to the court about 36 hours after their last win, made 11 of 24 shots from behind the arc. But the biggest difference in the game was the press.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 2 Syracuse 95, St. John's 70|
|No. 3 Ohio State 58, No. 19 Wisconsin 52|
|No. 5 North Carolina 83, Maryland 74|
|No. 6 Baylor 64, Oklahoma State 60|
|Wyoming 68, No. 11 UNLV 66|
|No. 12 Florida 73, No. 25 Vanderbilt 65|
|Northern Iowa 65, No. 13 Creighton 62|
|No. 14 Georgetown 75, South Florida 45|
|Notre Dame 76, No. 15 Marquette 59|
|No. 21 Florida State 58, No. 16 Virginia 55|
|No. 22 Mississippi State 91, Auburn 88|
Vanderbilt (16-7, 5-3) committed 17 turnovers, most of them against double teams that followed made baskets.
Jeffery Taylor led the Commodores with 25 points. John Jenkins, the league's leading scorer, added 15.
Vanderbilt used a 9-0 run early in the second half to take the lead, 43-40, and was up 49-46 before Florida took over.
Beal started a 10-0 run with a 3-pointer. He added a tip-in and another 3 in the spurt. The Gators went four minutes without a field goal, giving Vandy plenty of chances to move back in front, but Beal's driving layup made it a six-point game again.
Boynton's shot from behind the arc was equally huge.
The Gators closed it out from the free throw line, making 16 of 17 in the game and 14 of 14 in the second half.
Florida improved to 6-1 in Saturday games that followed Thursday nighters. Vanderbilt lost consecutive games for the second time this season and likely will drop out of the Associated Press college basketball poll.
The Gators survived all sorts of early foul trouble to lead 37-34 at halftime.
Patric Young played just three minutes before picking up his second foul. Erik Murphy and Bradley Beal joined him on the bench late in the first half with two apiece.
With the three starters sidelined, the Gators turned to bench players Will Yeguete, Mike Rosario, Scottie Wilbekin and Casey Prather. Yeguete had eight rebounds in 16 minutes, and Rosario scored 10 points in 12 minutes. It was exactly what Florida needed to withstand Vanderbilt's late rally.
The Commodores ended the half on an 11-5 run that sliced into Florida's 32-23 lead.
Jenkins and Taylor had four points each in the spurt, Brad Tinsley turned a steal into a layup and Lance Goulbourne added a free throw. It was a big turnaround from how the `Dores started the game.
Vandy committed five turnovers in the first five minutes of the game and eight in the first 16 minutes, most of them because of Florida's trapping press.