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. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    Rookie RHP Jake Faria had his lucky rubber duck — OG, the original one he has had since high school — with him, and the Rays had nothing to worry about as he put his rocky Wednesday outing well behind him, working into the eighth while scattering seven hits.

  3. Rays journal: Rookie Jacob Faria continues to show veteran poise

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles threatened in the first inning and the second. They loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning with the top of the order up and seemed poised for a big inning. But those opportunities produced only one run because Rays rookie RHP Jacob Faria kept his composure and got the …

    Jacob Faria goes a career-high 71/3 innings, staying composed when the Orioles threaten.
  4. Rays vs. Orioles, 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    Sports

    Today: vs. Orioles

    12:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM

    Tickets: $15-$275; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within 5 hours of game time.

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Bruce Arena blends intense demands with humor to lead U.S. soccer

    Soccer

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Bruce Arena bites his fingernails religiously, a habit he has had since age 10.

    Among some other unmentionables.

    Bruce Arena