Heading into another hostile environment, a young Tennessee team promised to be undaunted facing its sixth ranked opponent this season.
The Vols weren’t.
The Vols scrapped and battled against No. 24 Florida, even holding a slim halftime advantage.
But the Gators’ (12-3, 3-0 SEC) depth and offensive prowess ultimately proved too much, as UF shot a blistering 66.7 percent from the field in the second half to win 83-70 in front of a sold-out crowd Saturday in Gainesville.
Tennessee’s 13-point defeat wasn’t indicative of the game’s back-and-forth nature, but the Vols (8-7, 1-2 SEC) had no answer for Gators sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen, who spearheaded the white-hot shooting with 23 points — including 4-of-4 from downtown after halftime.
The Vols were led by Admiral Schofield’s double-double, as he scored 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting and had 10 rebounds. The sophomore was efficient scoring over Florida’s undersized guards, consistently giving Tennessee its best offense in the halfcourt. Jordan Bowden chipped in 15 points, while Robert Hubbs had 8 on just 4-for-11 shooting.
The Vols’ offense stalled without Schofield on the floor, getting outscored 13-7 to end the game when the guard fouled out with just under 4 minutes remaining.
Tennessee led 33-32 at halftime, dominating points off turnovers (15-9) and fast-break scoring (12-2).
Schofield topped all players with 8 points in the first half, also leading the Vols with 5 rebounds.
Tennessee basketball player of the game
Schofield scored in double figures for the first time all season. He notched his first double-double, too. His 18 points were the most he has scored since he poured in 22 against Auburn on Jan. 2, 2016.
Tennessee basketball vs. Florida box score
Tennessee basketball stat of the game
Tennessee allowed Florida to shoot 45 percent from distance — including 87.5 percent in the second half.
Florida hit just 2-of-12 3s in the first half before nailing 7-of-8 attempts after the break.
Both teams traded blows midway through the second half, combining for 10 straight made field goals at one point.
What’s next for Tennessee basketball
Tennessee will host South Carolina, undefeated in conference play, on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network.
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