Top-ranked Florida uses balanced attack to sink Vols
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) – Al Horford poured in a career-high 22
points and grabbed 13 rebounds, as top-ranked Florida easily defeated
Tennessee, 94-78, in SEC action from the O’Connell Center.
Joakim Noah added 19 points, six boards and three blocks for the Gators (21-2,
8-0 SEC), who have won 14 straight. Taurean Green contributed 18 points in the
Walter Hodge and Corey Brewer each had 12 points for Florida, which set a
school record for consecutive wins (eight) to open up league play.
Wayne Chism poured in 19 points and pulled down six rebounds for the
Volunteers (15-8, 3-5), who have dropped six of their last eight games.
JaJuan Smith netted 16 points while Ramar Smith had 13 for Tennessee, which
was without leading scorer Chris Lofton, who was absent from the lineup with
an ankle injury. Lofton has missed the last four games for the Vols.
The Gators stormed out of the gate and opened the contest on a 12-2 run to
take control early. Noah hit back-to-back jumpers during the stretch.
Florida continued to run in front and used a 10-2 run to make it 26-9 about
midway through the first half. Horford had four points during the stretch and
Green and Hodge drilled consecutive three-pointers.
A jumper by Horford made it a 20-point game at 40-20 with about four minutes
remaining in the opening half.
The Gators went into the break with a comfortable 50-24 advantage. Horford was
a force in the opening 20 minutes, netting 15 points. Noah added 10 points for
Florida, which shot 59 percent from the field in the first half.
A three-pointer by Jordan Howell cut Tennessee’s deficit to 63-43 with around
13 1/2 minutes remaining in the second half.
The Volunteers were only able to pull within 14 points the remainder of the
Florida improved to 15-0 at home this season…The Gators defeated the
Volunteers for only the second time in the last six meetings…Florida shot 56
percent from the field and 9-of-19 from beyond the arc…Tennessee dropped to
1-6 on the road this season…The Gators controlled the glass, outrebounding
the Vols, 43-26.