Rapid Reaction: Tennessee 75, Florida 70

February, 11, 2012
2/11/12
7:04
PM ET
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida coach Billy Donovan said earlier this week he wasn't concerned that his team would have trouble bouncing back from Tuesday's 20-point loss at Kentucky.

He probably is now.

The eighth-ranked Gators (19-6, 7-3 Southeastern Conference) struggled on Saturday against Tennessee (13-12, 5-5). Florida had trouble defensively at the 3-point line and inside, turned the ball over way too much and looked listless throughout much of the first half.

The Gators also struggled from long range for the second consecutive game. UF went 11-for-30 against the Vols after going 6-for-27 against Kentucky.

The result was the Gators' first back-to-back losses in nearly two years.

UF last lost back-to-back games at the end of the 2009-10 season against Mississippi State in the SEC Tournament and BYU in the NCAA Tournament.

It could get worse. Florida has back-to-back road games at Alabama and Arkansas next week, and the Gators have struggled on the road this season (2-5).

Player of the game: Tennessee forward Jeronne Maymon recorded his seventh double-double of the season. He had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Stat of the game: Florida committed 15 turnovers. In two games against the Vols this season -- both losses -- the Gators have committed 30.

What we learned: Will Yeguete is more of key player on this team than it appears. He went down early in the first half with a cut over his right eye and never returned, and that completely changed the makeup of the team. Patric Young was forced to play too many minutes without a break and the Gators were forced to play guard Casey Prather at forward at times. Donovan even gave Walter Pitchford, who had played just one minute since Dec. 22, 2011, some playing time at the end of the first half.

Noteworthy: The Gators were without guard Mike Rosario (hip) and forward Cody Larson (illness). ... Florida had won 19 consecutive home games dating back to a 72-69 loss to South Carolina on Jan. 15, 2011. ... The Gators wore new Nike Elite Hyper Platinum uniforms, a look that included bright orange socks and sneakers. ... Tennessee outscored UF 36-14 in the paint and 17-3 in second-chance points.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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