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Florida upends Vandy, moves on to SEC title game

Mar 13, 2011 - 1:20 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Kenny Boynton had 24 points, Erving Walker scored 17 and 12th-ranked Florida upended Vanderbilt, 77-66, in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.

Chandler Parsons posted 16 points and nine rebounds for the Gators (26-6), who will play Kentucky in Sunday's title game. Florida, seeded first out of the East Division, reached the final for the first time since claiming the last of its three consecutive SEC championships in 2007.

"We're excited about the opportunity to win and excited about the opportunity to play tomorrow," said Gators head coach Billy Donovan.

Jeffery Taylor netted 21 points and Festus Ezeli chipped in 17 with nine boards for the Commodores (23-10), the No. 3 seed from the East.

"I was proud of our team," said Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. "I felt we competed very well. We had a hard time making shots. We just did not shoot the ball well, and I thought we had, for the most part, good looks and unfortunately, just not enough shots went in."

The Gators erased a 12-point second-half deficit, grabbing their first lead of the game at 51-50 midway through the frame. The teams continued to go back- and-forth until Boynton drained a three-pointer to put Florida ahead for good with six minutes to play.

Vanderbilt closed to within 62-61, but Boynton and Walker both hit from beyond the arc to push Florida's lead to seven. The margin reached 11 at 74-63 when Parsons made two free throws with about a minute left.

The Commodores scored 11 of the game's first 13 points, but Florida battled back to pull even at 18. Vanderbilt, though, managed to build a 36-28 halftime lead.

Game Notes

Florida shot 55 percent in the second half, compared to just 29 percent by Vanderbilt...John Jenkins had 10 points for the Commodores, while Lance Goulbourne finished with nine points and 12 rebounds in a losing effort...Vanderbilt has only reached the SEC championship game once in its history, winning the title in 1951.