Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

No. 13 Florida Gators lose SEC opener 67-56 at Tennessee Volunteers

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Florida coach Billy Donovan wants his players to learn that they can't rely on their offense to bail them out of tough road games.

The 13th-ranked Gators had their fewest points this season while allowing Tennessee plenty of shots around the basket in the Volunteers' 67-56 win Saturday in both teams' SEC opener.

"Both teams played hard, but the difference was the defense," Donovan said. "I still think our guys have a long way to go in terms of what they need to learn and how they need to grow, and these experiences hopefully will help us."

Florida, which has lost all four of its true road games this season, went in averaging 85.4 points, best among SEC teams and fifth in the nation. The Vols held the Gators to a season-worst 35.7 percent shooting while hitting 51 percent of their own attempts.

And UF, which entered leading the nation in 3-point shooting, hit just 31.8 percent (7-for-22) against a team that was next-to-last in the SEC at defending the arc.

Josh Richardson hit a 3-pointer 41 seconds into the second half that set the tone for the Vols. Cameron Tatum stole the ball from Erving Walker on the next possession and ran it down the floor for a dunk to give Tennessee a 38-31 lead.

Kenny Boynton hit a 3 for the Gators. Boynton, who entered the game averaging 19.5 points, finished with 13. Erik Murphy also had 13 for Florida (12-4) and Patric Young added 12.

Renaldo Woolridge answered with a layup for UT. Tatum drew a charge by Bradley Beal, and after running a bit of an offensive set, drove to the basket to hit a layup to make it 42-34.

"If we defend a little bit better, I'm not saying we win the game but at least we're probably a little bit more in the game, and we needed to be," Donovan said.

The Vols (8-7) expanded their lead as they hit 12 of 22 shots in the second half while the Gators hit 8 of 27. UT controlled the post in the half and outscored Florida 32-20 in the paint.

Smothered by defenders, Jordan McRae hit a jumper near the basket to give Tennessee a 65-49 lead with 1:57 to go, putting the game out of reach.

"They were making shots," Murphy said. "They were getting a lot of easy baskets, because they were executing their offense really well. You know, we didn't guard as well as we could have. You combine those two together and they are going to score."

After starting every other game this season, Kenny Hall came off the bench to score a season-high 13 for the Vols. The Florida bench was outscored 25-1.

Comments
Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

DENVER — The Lightning left for Las Vegas Saturday for the first of four nights in Sin City.But Tampa Bay’s first regret came before it boarded the charter flight; the Lighting lamented making Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Avalanche much more thrilling...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Avalanche

Could tell just how much Ryan Callahan meant in the Lightning dressing room by hearing teammates talk about his latest injury. Steven Stamkos said he was "sick to my stomach." Brayden Point called him a "heart and soul player." Teammates all saw how ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

The good news for the Lightning is that GM Steve Yzerman is hopeful RW Ryan Callahan will be ready to go in 3-4 weeks when his upper body injury is re-evaluated. The hard part, however, is finding someone to replace the veteran wing. "I don’t know if...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Melo cheered, then booed as Knicks spoil his return

Melo cheered, then booed as Knicks spoil his return

NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony got the cheers but the Knicks got the win, shutting out their former All-Star in the second half and beating the Thunder 111-96 Saturday night for their fourth straight victory. Michael Beasley tied his season high with 30 ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rangers stay hot against a favorite opponent, the Bruins

Rangers stay hot against a favorite opponent, the Bruins

BOSTON — Mats Zuccarello scored a power-play goal 1:56 into overtime to lift the Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Saturday. Michael Grabner and J.T. Miller also scored for the Rangers, who won for the ninth time in 13 games (9-3-1) overall...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Sports in brief

MLBTRADE SENDS KEMP BACK TO L.A.OF Matt Kemp was reacquired by the Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Braves. The Dodgers sent 1B Adrian Gonzalez, LHP Scott Kazmir, RHP Brandon McCarthy, INF Charlie Culberson and cash to Atla...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Mistakes doom Ducks in new coach’s debut

Mistakes doom Ducks in new coach’s debut

LAS VEGAS — Cedrick Wilson caught 10 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown, safety Kekaula Kaniho returned an interception 53 yards for a score and No. 25 Boise State beat Oregon 38-28 in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday. Brett Rypien threw for 362 yard...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David out for Monday’s game vs. Falcons

TAMPA — As if containing All-Pro Julio Jones and the Falcons offense isn’t challenging enough, the Bucs will try to do so Monday night without perhaps their top defensive players, tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David.On Saturday, Bucs coa...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: Florida State at Texas12:30 p.m.FS1Women: Georgia Tech at Georgia1 p.m.SECStony Brook at Providence2:30 p.m.FS1North Carolina at Tennessee3 p.m.ESPNSavannah State at Baylor3 p.m.Fox SunWomen: USF at Florida International...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Cabreras team up for first-round lead at Father/Son Challenge

ORLANDO — Two-time major winner Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the Father/Son Challenge. Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in the pop...
Updated: 7 hours ago