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Vols take down No. 13 Florida

Jan 7, 2012 - 6:37 PM Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) - Kenny Hall scored 13 points to lead a balanced Tennessee attack, as the Volunteers earned their first big win under Cuonzo Martin with a 67-56 victory over 13th-ranked Florida in the SEC opener for both schools at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Martin is in his first year at the helm after taking over for the fired Bruce Pearl and the Vols (8-7, 1-0 SEC) had lost each of their first three games against ranked opposition this season.

However, Tennessee never trailed in the second half on Saturday and kept Florida (12-4, 0-1) winless in true road games this season. The Gators are 0-4 in opponents' buildings, including previous losses to Ohio State, Syracuse and Rutgers.

Trae Golden and Jeronne Maymon each scored 12 points for Tennessee, while Jordan McRae chipped in 10. The Vols shot 51 percent overall and held Florida to just 35.7 percent from the field. The Gators entered the contest averaging an SEC-best 85.4 points this season.

Erik Murphy and Kenny Boynton each finished with 13 points to lead Florida, which had won two straight since a double-overtime loss at Rutgers on December 29.

Florida cut a four-point deficit at the intermission to a deuce with the first bucket of the second half, but Tennessee quickly asserted control. Josh Richardson answered with a three-pointer for the Vols and Cameron Tatum followed with a steal and a dunk for a 38-31 lead.

Boynton drilled a three moments later for the Gators, but Maymon set up layups for Renaldo Woolridge and Tatum on consecutive Tennessee possessions to extend the lead to eight.

Florida hung around over the next few minutes and a three-pointer by Erving Walker with just over 11 minutes left made it a seven-point difference, but the Vols scored the next eight. Hall started it with a three-point play and a three by Tatum with 9:12 remaining gave Tennessee a 58-43 cushion.

The Vols led by as many as 16 down the stretch and Florida got only as close as nine in the final minute.

Neither team led by more than four in a tight first half. Florida opened a 14-10 edge early, but Tennessee quickly recovered with the next five points. The Vols took their biggest lead of the half in the closing seconds when Golden drained a three-pointer for a 33-29 advantage at the break.

Game Notes

Tatum scored nine points for Tennessee...Walker scored eight for Florida and Patric Young contributed 12 with a team-high seven rebounds in defeat...The Gators beat the Vols three times last season, winning two games in the regular season with an additional victory in the SEC Tournament, and had won four straight overall in the series.