GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida appears to have these short
turnarounds figured out.
Of course, it helps when the Gators are making 3-pointers and forcing turnovers. Kenny Boynton scored 18 points, Bradley Beal added 16 and
Florida (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) beat Vanderbilt (No. 25 AP) Saturday 73-65 for its seventh
consecutive victory. The Gators (19-4, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) won for the second time in about 36 hours, improving to 5-0 on two-day
turnarounds this season. They are 6-1 in Saturday games that follow Thursday night affairs in the three years the SEC has scheduled those.
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The latest one had everything to do with 3-pointers and turnovers. Florida made 11 of 24 shots from 3-point range and forced
Vanderbilt into 17 turnovers, most of them coming from the press. "We were really patient and then we trapped hard and we were able to rotate and force turnovers," Beal said. "
It's probably our best performance." Vanderbilt (16-7, 5-3) had been able to overcome turnover issues in recent weeks, winning at Marquette, at South Carolina and
at Alabama with at least 17 turnovers. No such luck in Gainesville. "We didn't do a very good job of attacking (the press),"
Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "It was disruptive and we
did a poor job with our spacing. We did a poor job with our ballhandling. It caused problems." The Commodores had their hands full defending Boynton and Beal,
too. The guards came up huge in the second half. Beal scored 14, and Boynton drained a 3-pointer with 1:10
remaining after the Commodores made it a four-point game, then
sank two free throws with 25.9 seconds left to seal Florida's 19th
consecutive victory at home. Erving Walked scored 11 points for Florida, and Mike Rosario had
10 off the bench.
Jeffery Taylor led the Commodores with 25 points. John Jenkins,
the league's leading scorer, added 15. "We did a really poor job handling the pressure," Taylor said. "We had a lot of turnovers that resulted in easy points for
them." Vanderbilt used a 9-0 run early in the second half to take a
43-40 lead, 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, but just when it looked as though the Gators were
going to pull away, they went four minutes without a field goal.
Vandy had plenty of chances to retake the lead, but Beal's driving
layup with 2:04 left made it a six-point game again. "I was really proud of Brad because he didn't shoot the ball
particularly well in the first half," Florida coach Billy Donovan
said. "He didn't have a great first half; he didn't do a whole
lot. But then he knocked down a big 3 that gave us the lead, had a
great transition drive and he got fouled one time going to the rim.
He made a lot of really, really good plays and really impacted the
game the last 10 minutes and made some big plays for us." 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 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, Rosario, Scottie Wilbekin and Casey Prather.Yeguete had eight rebounds in 16 minutes, and Rosario scored 10 points in 12 minutes.