Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

No. 8 Florida Gators upset at home by Tennessee Volunteers 75-70

GAINESVILLE — Don't for one second let the final score deceive you about Saturday's game between Florida and Tennessee at the O'Connell Center.

Unranked Tennessee defeated the No. 8 Gators 75-70, but the beating was much worse overall, much more telling about this Gators team right now.

"The difference in the game to me was simple: Our guys are not hardened enough right now," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "I don't know if it's (a team) at a crossroads as much as it is a, 'Who are we, and who do we want to be' kind of thing."

Tennessee (13-12, 5-5 SEC) went in 0-7 on the road and left with a season sweep of the Gators. It was the first time in two years that Florida (19-6, 7-3) has suffered back-to-back losses (including Tuesday night's 20-point loss to Kentucky), and its 19-game home win streak ended.

"I told the guys in shootaround (Saturday) morning that today I felt like it was the first time we were able to win a road game," Vols first-year coach Cuonzo Martin said.

The Gators trailed 41-30 at halftime after Tennessee led by as many as 17. Florida shot 42 percent from the field (36 percent on 3s) and was outscored in the paint 36-14. The Gators hit five 3-pointers in the final 1:54 to make the score seem respectable.

Florida's troubles were compounded by the loss of defensive specialist Will Yeguete, who was knocked unconscious six minutes into the game when his head collided on the baseboard. He received 8-10 stitches and was diagnosed with a concussion. UF's other top reserve, guard Mike Rosario, missed the game with a hip pointer. And center Patric Young and junior forward Erik Murphy had two fouls midway through the half, cutting into the Gators' depth.

Oddly enough, Florida saw this one coming. After a 30-minute postgame with Donovan, the Gators emerged from the locker room and acknowledged they were dismissed from practice twice last week for lack of focus and intensity.

"We didn't compete at all really," said freshman guard Bradley Beal, who had 16 points and eight rebounds but shot 2-of-9 from the field.

In his postgame speech, Donovan reminded his team that there's still a lot of basketball to be played — and if they don't toughen up and focus, they might play themselves right out of an NCAA Tournament bid.

"It's an eye-opener," junior guard Kenny Boynton said. "But it can only be one way. We've got to wake up and play or we could be in the NIT."

Comments
Rick and Tom podcast: Is Dirk Koetter fighting for his job?

Rick and Tom podcast: Is Dirk Koetter fighting for his job?

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether Dirk Koetter is fighting for his job the final three weeks of season. Is there a rift between him and Jameis Winston? Has Winston shown enough progress this year? And who are the Glaz...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

The Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday night still featured the usual post-game music in the dressing room.But there was more of a somber tone with veteran right wing Ryan Callahan's right arm in a sling. Callahan, who got hurt on a na...
Updated: 3 hours ago
USF football journal: Add an audible to the Quinton Flowers legend

USF football journal: Add an audible to the Quinton Flowers legend

Bulls fans who believe QB Quinton Flowers wasn't afforded enough latitude in the 2017 offense got some figurative fuel for their argument Thursday.Or more specifically, kerosene in the form of a conversion. That game-tying two-point play in the wanin...
Updated: 6 hours ago
USF football journal: Add an audible to the Quinton Flowers legend

USF football journal: Add an audible to the Quinton Flowers legend

Bulls fans who believe QB Quinton Flowers wasn't afforded enough latitude in the 2017 offense got some figurative fuel for their argument Thursday.Or more specifically, kerosene in the form of a conversion. That game-tying two-point play in the wanin...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. — As much as the Lightning has been rolling, it remembered how it lost twice last season to the Coyotes.That included blowing a one-goal third-period lead at home down the stretch, with Tampa Bay missing the playoffs by a point."You l...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the dynamic Lightning defenseman. They both were top 10 picks in 2016, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in th...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Cavs ride LeBron’s triple double vs. Lakers

Cavs ride LeBron’s triple double vs. Lakers

CLEVELAND — LeBron James recorded his 59th career triple double in front of Lonzo Ball and his brothers, Kevin Love scored 28 and the Cavaliers won for the 16th time in 17 games, 121-112 over the Lakers on Thursday. James finished with 25 points, 12 ...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Friday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingSuper lightweights: Vargas vs. Herrera10 p.m.FS1College basketballWomen: Southern at USF7 p.m.1040-AMMaryland-Eastern Shore at Creighton8 p.m.FS1College footballDivision III, final: Mount Union (Ohio) vs. Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas)7 p.m.ES...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Caps continue to dominate Bruins

BOSTON — Alex Chiasson scored two third-period goals, the second on a shorthanded breakaway with 8:29 left, and the Capitals beat the Bruins 5-3 on Thursday night. Patrice Bergeron scored twice for Boston, moving past Bobby Orr on the team’s all-time...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Stephan Jiggetts’ 20 points lead USF basketball over Bethune-Cookman

Stephan Jiggetts’ 20 points lead USF basketball over Bethune-Cookman

TAMPA — USF used a 21-3 run midway through the second half en route to an 83-63 win over Bethune-Cookman on Thursday night before an announced 2,091 at the Sun Dome.The victory halted a four-game losing streak for the Bulls (5-6), who scored the last...
Updated: 10 hours ago