Corey Brewer's right ankle is feeling much better, and that is very good news for No. 10 Florida.
The sophomore scored a career-high 26 and grabbed eight rebounds Wednesday night to lead the Gators past Vanderbilt 73-68 in coach Billy Donovan's 250th career victory.
"I'm back to 100 percent now," said Brewer, who sprained his ankle in a loss to No. 8 Tennessee last month. "I haven't been the last five or six games, but I'm back now."
Success at Memorial Gym had been rare for the Gators (22-3, 8-3 Southeastern Conference), but they definitely have dominated recently in the series. They won their sixth straight and swept the Commodores for the fourth time in five seasons, winning 11 of the last 12 games.
Vanderbilt (13-9, 4-7) has lost seven of nine overall, including three at home. Coach Kevin Stallings pointed out he tried to recruit Brewer, whose hometown is about 30 miles from Nashville.
"He's got great hands, great speed and great anticipation defensively so he's just a good player on both ends," Stallings said. "He was a really good player on the offensive end tonight."
Brewer had struggled since the injury, scoring in double figures only twice in the last six games. He was just 1-of-7 last weekend against LSU and had been only 4-of-22 from 3-point range in his first 10 SEC games.
But the player who recorded the first triple-double in school history earlier this season hit 5-of-6 3s against Vanderbilt, had three steals and went 5-of-5 at the free throw line. Joakim Noah, his only teammate in double figures with 12 points, called Brewer the heart of the Gators.
"When Corey is playing well, it helps so much. I've been on him all week about getting his swagger back. He hasn't been playing the way I know he is capable of playing. He stepped up in front of a hostile crowd," Noah said.
"I'm happy for Corey just because I think for him coming off that injury and maybe not shooting the ball particularly well and trying to get back his rhythm. It was good to see him play the way he did," Donovan said.
Florida improved to 14-0 when outrebounding an opponent, this time finishing with a 35-29 edge.
Shan Foster led Vanderbilt with 19 points, while Julian Terrell had 18, Alex Gordon 12 and DeMarre Carroll 11.
Florida led by as many as 11 points and appeared ready to pull away before Vanderbilt made it interesting in the final minutes.
Foster scored on a dunk with 1:19 left and converted the three-point play to pull the Commodores within 68-65. Brewer answered by putting back a missed 3 by Taurean Green.
"When I saw the ball go up, I felt like it was going to come off and I went full speed. It came right to me. It turned out to be the key play of the game," Brewer said.
Terrell then hit two free throws to make it 70-67 with 34 seconds remaining. Noah hit one of two free throws, and Brewer clinched with two more.
The Commodores started the game by outshooting the nation's best shooting team. They hit nine of their first 17 shots in taking a 23-18 lead.
Florida took control with a 10-4 run to finish the first half starting with a 3-pointer by Walter Hodge for a 24-23 lead. Brewer capped it with a steal and a layup, then hit a 3-pointer before the buzzer for a 31-27 lead.
The Gators opened the second half with Brewer converting a four-point play by adding a free throw to one of his five 3-pointers. Vanderbilt got within five several times before Chris Richard scored on a dunk, Noah dunked after a steal and Lee Humphrey scored on a layup for a 50-39 lead with 11:23 left.