Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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

Freshman Bradley Beal, leaning into Tennessee’s Cameron Tatum for a second-half shot, scores 16 but shoots only 2-of-9 from the field as Florida loses its first home game of the season.

Associated Press

Freshman Bradley Beal, leaning into Tennessee’s Cameron Tatum for a second-half shot, scores 16 but shoots only 2-of-9 from the field as Florida loses its first home game of the season.

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."

Tenn. 75

8 UF 70

No. 8 Florida Gators upset at home by Tennessee Volunteers 75-70 02/11/12 [Last modified: Saturday, February 11, 2012 9:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Stanley Cup final preview: Don't count out Predators

    Sports

    Either way, this Stanley Cup final is going to be historic.

    Nashville players celebrate after beating the Ducks in the Western Conference final to advance to the Stanley Cup final, where they meet the Penguins. [Associated Press]
  2. Weather issues slow Coca-Cola 600

    Auto racing

    CONCORD, N.C. — The longest race of the NASCAR season got even longer Sunday night.

    THE LEADER: Sebastian Vettel extends his points lead in Formula One after winning the Monaco Grand Prix.
  3. Rays blow lead, rally, blow lead, rally again to beat Twins in 15 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays sure made it interesting Sunday, taking an early lead, watching their beleaguered bullpen blow it, rallying to tie in the ninth, battling the Twins to take a lead in the 14th then giving it up again.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates scoring a run against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on May 28, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010990
  4. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... …

  5. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]