No. 14 Florida ends regular season with win at No. 21 VandyMar 6, 2011 - 3:07 AM Florida to an 86- 76 win over No. 21 Vanderbilt at Memorial Gym.
Alex Tyus collected 13 points and 10 boards while Vernon Macklin netted 13 points for the Gators (24-6, 13-3 SEC), who won the regular season SEC title outright for a third time in school history.
Chandler Parsons totaled 13 points and seven boards as the Gators closed the regular season with wins in eight of their last nine contests.
John Jenkins led all scorers with 22 points and Festus Ezeli supplied 16 for the Commodores (21-9, 9-7), who lost three of their last four games to conclude the regular season.
Jeffery Taylor contributed 15 points while freshman Rod Odom provided 10 points and five boards for Vandy, which finished the season 14-3 at home.
"We got beat by a better team today," Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings said. "They played better in every facet than we did and that's disappointing. They have gotten a lot better offensively since the first time we played. I think we were okay offensively, but we couldn't string together enough stops."
Trailing by as many as 13 early in the second half, Vandy moved to within 54-53 on Odom's pull-up jumper with under 11 minutes left.
However, Florida responded with an 11-1 run, capped by a Boynton triple, to extend the margin to 65-54 slightly less than three minutes later.
Tyus canned a jumper to increase the spread to 14 with 5 1/2 minutes to go before the Commodores ran off 11 of the next 13 points to pull within 77-72 on an Odom jump shot with three minutes to play.
Walker hit four foul shots over the next minute to push the lead to nine before Odom's triple spilled out ending Vandy's last best hope.
Patric Young's layup then made it an 11-point game and sewed up the victory as the Gators reached the 24-win plateau in the regular season for the fourth time in school history.
"It was a great balance with everyone playing unselfishly," Parsons commented about the win. "Everyone continues to work hard. Our bench was terrific and we did a great job of not letting them get the lead back. We know Jenkins, (Brad) Tinsley and Taylor are capable of going off at any second and we defended them."
Tinsley's dunk put Vanderbilt ahead 25-18 inside of seven minutes left in the half before Florida seized control with a 16-2 surge to take a seven-point lead with 2:22 remaining.
Boynton ignited the surge with a triple and then tucked a layup inside of two Parsons triples that made it 29-25 Gators. Macklin scored the last five points of the burst.
A Jenkins triple momentarily quieted the visitors, who then scored the last four points to grab a 38-30 edge at the break.
Florida also claimed an outright conference title in 1988-89 and 2006-07, the second of their back-to-back title campaigns...Florida won 26 regular season games during that 2006-07 season and 24 during the 2002-03 and 2005-06 slates. Walker made only 3-of-11 from the floor but hit 10-of-11 at the line...Four of Boynton's five makes were from long distance, as Florida hit 7-of-19 from beyond the arc...Florida finished 8-2 in true road games, the first time it has won eight true road games since the 1993-94 season...Jenkins connected on 9-of-15 shots, including 3-of-8 from three-point territory...The Commodores lead the all-time series, 63-58, including a 40-14 mark at home....Vanderbilt was 3-1 at home against ranked opponents this season...Florida took the first meeting between the two, 65-61 in overtime on February 1.
- FLORIDA: 86
Mar 5 8:10 PM
- FLORIDA: 38
Mar 5 6:55 PM
- FLORIDA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Mar 5 6:14 PM
- Virginia Tech guard Jalen Hudson transfers to Florida May 16
- Florida guard Francis-Ramirez transferring after 2 seasons May 4
- New Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew announces his staff Apr 26
- Florida's Devin Robinson out 4-6 months after foot surgery Apr 21
- Vanderbilt junior center Damian Jones entering NBA Draft Apr 14
- Bryce Drew wants to be 1st to take Vanderbilt to Final 4 Apr 6
- Vandy sophomore guard Wade Baldwin IV entering NBA draft Apr 5
- Vanderbilt using Fogler, not search firm to find new coach Mar 28
- Florida guard Walker plans to transfer after graduation Mar 28
- Stallings gone, Vanderbilt to start search for new coach Mar 27
- After 17 seasons, Stallings' future at Vanderbilt in doubt Mar 16
- Florida's Egbunu to have season-ending thumb surgery Mar 15