- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter
- 0 Shares
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- There were plenty of reasons 11th-ranked Florida should not have beaten Vanderbilt on Saturday.
UF (19-4, 7-1 SEC) had trouble finishing around the basket, missing several layups and short runners.
The Gators were unable to extend leads into double digits, both in the first and second half, when they had the Commodores (16-7, 5-3) reeling.
Making up for all that, however, was UF's press. The Gators forced the Commodores into 16 turnovers, harassed point guard Brad Tinsley all afternoon, and made Vanderbilt work hard to get the ball across midcourt. The result -- the Gators' seventh consecutive victory and fourth in a row over the Commodores.
Player of the game: Bradley Beal had 16 points and seven rebounds and made two key plays late in the game to help the Gators secure the victory. He scored on a driving layup, sliding past Tinsley, to put UF ahead 66-60 with about two minutes remaining and then hit two free throws with 38.6 seconds to play to give the Gators a six-point cushion.
Stat of the game: Florida went 14-for-14 from the free-throw line in the second half.
What we learned: The Gators were able to win despite getting virtually nothing from Young. The sophomore center was saddled with foul trouble for the first time in SEC play this season. He played just three minutes in the first half and finished with two points and four rebounds and made only 1-of-4 shots. Florida was forced to go to a three-guard lineup for much of the first half. Young didn't get his first basket until 6:18 remained in the game, when he grabbed an offensive rebound and dunked.
Noteworthy: Casey Prather saw playing time for the first time since the Gators’ Jan. 26 game at Ole Miss. … Erik Murphy hit two first-half 3-pointers. He had missed five in a row dating back to the Mississippi State game. He was 0-for-4 from 3-point range against South Carolina on Thursday night. ... Florida has now won 19 consecutive home games, which is the fourth-longest streak in program history. The Gators are 13-9 at the O'Connell Center this season.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- There were plenty of reasons 11th-ranked Florida should not have beaten Vanderbilt on Saturday.Center Patric Young wasn't a factor thanks to foul trouble, which meant the Gators had no one to handle Commodores center Festus Ezeli.