Final: Florida 68, Vanderbilt 60
Photo by Kristen Oliff / ChompTalk.com
For the first time since 2014, the Gators opened their home SEC schedule with a victory. On Sunday, Florida topped Vanderbilt 68-60 to improve to 10-5 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Led by four scorers reaching double figures, the Gators reached .500 in SEC action for the first time under head coach Cameron Newbauer.
The Commodores (11-4, 1-1) led after one period of play, largely thanks to opening the game with a 7-2 advantage.
The Gators took their first lead with 4:12 remaining in the second quarter after Ariel Johnson knocked down a trey. Florida wouldn’t trail for the remainder of the contest.
That isn’t to say the win came easy. With the Gators leading 55-49 in the fourth quarter, Vandy went on a quick 5-0 run to get to within one with 4:57 to play. Florida immediately followed with an 8-0 stretch that put the game out of reach.
Florida capitalized on 15 offensive boards that contributed to twelve second chance points.
- Lavender Briggs: 19 points
- Kiki Smith: 17 points, 50% FG
- Zada Williams: 10 points, 11 rebounds
- Ariel Johnson: 10 points, 8 rebounds
- FG% : 40
- 3FG% : 27
- FT% : 70
- Reb+/- : +7
- Assists: 9
- TO: 13
- Bench Points: 16
Florida will travel to Auburn to face the Tigers on Thursday. The Tigers are 0-1* in the SEC after losing to Vanderbilt in the conference opener on Thursday.
Auburn is 6-6 overall with losses to Middle Tennessee and Drake in non-conference play.
*At time of publication, Auburn is currently playing No. 20 Arkansas and trailing by double digits in the first half.