SEC Tournament: Florida Gators Outlast Tennessee Volunteers 56-49

Kevin C. Cox

The Vols made the Gators work for it, but the regular season champs are on their way to the final.

It wasn't a pretty game, but Florida withstood a heck of a challenge from Tennessee and survived 56-49.

The Gators had a slow start in the first half again, just like yesterday. UT is better than Missouri is, though, so the Vols were better able to make Florida pay. Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon dominated inside, disrupted UF's offense, and became the first SEC team to lead Florida by double digits. Only Scottie Wilbekin had a decent first half for Florida, and he hit a three just before the half to cut the Tennessee lead to seven.

In the second half, Florida was a much more energized team. It cut the lead to about nothing almost immediately, and after it took the lead with nine minutes to go, it wouldn't trail the rest of the way. Tennessee went cold after the half, partly due to the Gators' defense and partly just due to missing shots it made in the first half. The Vols scored just 14 points after intermission, less than half of what they scored in the first and their lowest total in any half this season.

Patric Young ended up the top scorer with 16, while Jordan McRae had 15 and Wilbekin had 14. Maymon nearly had a double-double with 10 points and nine boards for the Vols.

This game was the kind that Florida has seldom had to deal with this year, and it's the kind a coach loves to have just before heading into the Big Dance. It's a reminder for UF that it can't flip the switch and just roll through anyone. For Tennessee, it's still encouraging despite the loss. UT took the No. 1 team to the limit, coming just short. It shows that it will be able to hang with anyone it may encounter in March Madness.

Florida will take on the winner of Kentucky-Georgia in the SEC Tournament final tomorrow.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Team Speed Kills

You must be a member of Team Speed Kills to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Team Speed Kills. You should read them.

Join Team Speed Kills

You must be a member of Team Speed Kills to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Team Speed Kills. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker