KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Florida beat Tennessee by 38 points
earlier this month at home.
The Gators had a much harder time on the Vols' orange-and-white
Scooter McFadgon scored 24 points and Brandon Crump added 11
points and 11 rebounds to help Tennessee rally in the final minutes
for a 65-63 victory over Florida (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) on Saturday afternoon.
"Everybody was talking about payback. Nobody had ever lost by
38 points. It was an embarrassing loss," Crump said. "We couldn't
wait to play Florida again."
The win ended Tennessee's four-game losing streak, two of which
came at home to then-No. 9 Kentucky and former No. 5 Louisville.
The Vols (11-6, 3-4 Southeastern Conference), who are 0-3 on the
road in the SEC so far, blew an eight-point lead early in the
second half but never let the Gators get too far ahead.
Tennessee tied it twice in the last nine minutes before retaking
the lead with 1:33 left on Justin Albrecht's two free throws.
After McFadgon added two more free throws to extend the lead to
64-61 with 13.8 seconds to go, Florida (13-5, 4-3) got a break when
Albrecht fouled Anthony Roberson shooting a 3-pointer.
Three free throws would have tied it, but Roberson missed the
first and made the last two as the home crowd screamed.
"Anthony Roberson is a clutch player. He couldn't make all
three at the end, though," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "We
had a chance to tie it at the end but didn't get a great shot."
Watson added 10 points for the Vols, who won for only the second
time in eight meetings with Florida since 2001. McFadgon was
10-of-10 from the foul line.
Florida's Matt Walsh, who was booed every time he touched the
ball, and Roberson finished with 17 points apiece and Christian
Drejer added 10.
The Vols had 15 turnovers and shot 37 percent from the field,
but held the Gators to 39 percent. Tennessee also had the
rebounding edge, 43-24.
"This game could have gone either way. We were fortunate,"
Tennessee coach Buzz Peterson said. "You have to take care of your
Florida lost its lead midway through the first half and watched
Tennessee start the second half with an 8-1 run to go ahead 40-32.
The Gators missed their first five field-goal attempts after
halftime before Drejer's 3 with 13:32 left. His basket started a
16-4 run and Roberson ended it with another 3 to put Florida ahead
50-46 with 9:43 remaining.
The Gators couldn't extend the lead past four points, and
Tennessee kept chipping away.
Tennessee trailed in the first half until a 12-1 run in which
the Vols held the Gators scoreless for six minutes and Donovan was
whistled for a technical foul.
Donovan apparently thought a foul should have been called but
the referee objected to his tone. McFadgon made both free throws to
finish the run and put Tennessee ahead 29-19.