Gator Men’s Basketball drop regular season finale to Volunteers

Losing streak moves to two after Sunday’s loss
Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 9:20 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The Gator Men’s Basketball team has had to fight through adversity on a number of occasions during the 2020-21 campaign, but Sunday’s contest against the Volunteers added another layer, as Florida had to try and win its regular season finale without Tre Mann.

The Gators (13-8) led by as many as 14 points with just over four minutes remaining in the first half, in Knoxville, but Tennessee (17-7) closed out the final 3:46 on an 8-0 run to cut the halftime deficit to 33-28.

In the second half, Florida enjoyed a short-lived seven point lead with 17:38 to play, but that soon vanished as the Volunteers went on a 33-15 run to finish out the game.

Part of the blame goes on Florida’s shooting. Compared to shooting nearly 50 percent in the first half, the Gators were ice cold from the floor in the second half, going just 6-19 from the field to only register 21 points in 20 minutes of play.

Tennessee, on the other hand, improved on their 41 percent for the first half by shooting 45 percent in the second. They also held the advantage on the boards, 38-29.

But the most glaring stat of the game was inside the paint. The Volunteers were plus 16 on points in the paint, 44-28.

That lopsided stat line just about summed up the contest.

Tennessee was hungrier in the second half and outmuscled the Gators.

Florida will now prepare to play the Southeastern Conference Tournament beginning Wednesday, March 15, in Nashville, TN.

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