Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Colleges

Florida beats Vanderbilt for first time under Mike White

GAINESVILLE — It has been a long time, maybe even a decade, since Florida had this much confidence from the free-throw line.

It came in handy in the SEC opener against Vanderbilt.

Egor Koulechov scored 22, Chris Chiozza added 17 and the Gators opened conference play with a 81-74 victory against the Commodores on Saturday.

Florida (9-4) led the entire game and ended a five-game losing streak in the series. The key was making 27 of 30 free throws.

"I thought we made some good decisions, our best free-throw shooters, in being aggressive," Gators coach Mike White said. "Mature decisions."

It was White’s first victory against Vanderbilt (5-8), giving him a win against every team in the league in three seasons.

"It’s huge," White said. "It feels good."

This one was a one-sided affair early and a nail-biter late.

Florida scored the first nine and was up 40-20 at halftime. But Vanderbilt clawed its way back into the game thanks partly to 12 3-pointers and made it close down the stretch.

Riley LaChance’s 3-pointer with 1:38 left cut it to 74-70. But the Commodores missed their next two shots from behind the arc.

"It was a big hill, but we had a shot there to cut it to one with a minute left," Vandy coach Bryce Drew said. "You would love to see that one go down if you are on our side just to see how that next possession would have gone. We might have been able to take the lead in the last 30 seconds."

Instead, UF closed it out from the line for its third straight win after losing four of five.

"You are trying to go through which guy you want to foul, but eventually you have to foul an 80 percent free-throw shooter because they all shoot really well," Drew said. "You don’t want to get in that position, but if you do, it is going to be tough to beat Florida with so many good free-throw shooters."

Koulechov made all 10 of his free throws, Chiozza made both of his and KeVaughn Allen made all six. Equally important for Florida: The team had a season-low five turnovers.

"We talk about how this is kind of like a new season," Koulechov said. "Everything that happened before that — not that it doesn’t count — but we’ve just got to forget about it, move on. Conference play is where it’s at. It was good for us to get this first win."

Comments
Florida Gators’ New Year’s Six bowl chances look better in latest College Football Playoff rankings

Florida Gators’ New Year’s Six bowl chances look better in latest College Football Playoff rankings

UF cracks the top 12, and UCF has the highest ranking ever by a Group of Five team.
Updated: 5 hours ago
Florida Gators’ Dan Mullen: I’d love to end Florida State’s bowl streak

Florida Gators’ Dan Mullen: I’d love to end Florida State’s bowl streak

The Seminoles aren't the only ones talking about the NCAA-record bowl streak.
Published: 11/19/18
Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Where to rank UCF?

Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Where to rank UCF?

The Knights belong somewhere in the 6-9 tier ... but where?
Published: 11/18/18
Matt Baker’s takeaways from FSU-Boston College

Matt Baker’s takeaways from FSU-Boston College

The announced attendance (57,274) was the smallest announced crowd at Doak Campbell Stadium since the Virginia Tech game in 1988 (50,901). Crowds are down across the sport, but the empty seats were a bad sign in Year 1 of the Willie Taggart Era.RELAT...
Published: 11/17/18
Florida State’s bowl streak still alive after comeback upset of Boston College

Florida State’s bowl streak still alive after comeback upset of Boston College

Deondre Francois found Tamorrion Terry for the 74-yard game winning touchdown pass. Now FSU must beat the Gators next week to make a bowl game.
Published: 11/17/18
FSU journal: Ground game gets untracked a bit

FSU journal: Ground game gets untracked a bit

TALLAHASSEE — It took until the 11th game, but Florida State's rushing offense finally started to click the way the Seminoles expected with a talented backfield and a coach with a history of excellent runners.FSU rushed 36 times for 156 yards. ...
Published: 11/17/18
No. 13 Florida rides Feleipe Franks’ arm to rout Idaho 63-10

No. 13 Florida rides Feleipe Franks’ arm to rout Idaho 63-10

GAINESVILLE — Feleipe Franks passed for 274 yards and three touchdowns — all in the first half — and No. 15 Florida ran up 600 total yards to rout overmatched Idaho 63-10 on SaturdayFlorida rolled to a 49-0 lead at halftime. Gators ...
Published: 11/17/18
The end of ‘The Streak’ would be another sorry chapter for Florida State

The end of ‘The Streak’ would be another sorry chapter for Florida State

Florida State's run of 36 consecutive bowl games, which began under Bobby Bowden, might screech to a halt this afternoon under Willie Taggart
Published: 11/16/18
Hot seat watch, coaches in contention to move up, Jimbo Fisher flashback and more college football notes

Hot seat watch, coaches in contention to move up, Jimbo Fisher flashback and more college football notes

Yes, Skip Holtz flopped at USF, but he's doing very well at Louisiana Tech...
Published: 11/16/18
Gators-Idaho, UCF-Cincinnati, bowl streaks in jeopardy and more state college football notes

Gators-Idaho, UCF-Cincinnati, bowl streaks in jeopardy and more state college football notes

Hopefully Florida and Idaho get to play an offensive snap this time, unlike in 2014.
Published: 11/16/18