Instant Analysis: Back in the win column

No. 24 Florida 77 - Vanderbilt 64

by Joseph Torviso
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Please Read: Welcome to the new-look Inside the Gators

Coming into the game, Florida was 15 1/2 point favorites. While it is common to see teams stoop down to their opponent’s level when they are expected to dominate, that didn’t happen today, and the Gators got the job done. Although the spread wasn’t covered, Florida beat Vandy 77-64.

Inside the Gators’ Instant Analysis takes a quick look at how the game unfolded.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Will Richard scored five points in a row with 5:32 left in the first half. He extended Florida’s lead to 13, forcing Vanderbilt to call a timeout. The Commodores never cut the deficit to single digits, and the Gators coasted the rest of the afternoon.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW: Tyrese Samuel dominated today. The forward scored six of the first nine points to start the game for Florida. He gave Vandy a headache all game and was even fouled three times in the first four minutes of the second half. Samuel finished the afternoon with 15 points, six rebounds, and two assists.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE: Florida had 17 assists to Vanderbilt’s six. The Gators moved the ball around creating one opportunity after the other. No matter how the Commodores guarded Florida, the Gators seemed to always have an open shot.

THIS MATCHUP PROVIDED KEY: Florida’s guards tore Vandy apart. Zyon Pullin had the same number of assists as the Commodores. Walter Clayton Jr. and Will Richard combined for 40 points. Vanderbilt’s starters had just 43.

WHAT A PLAY: Absolute domination out of the gate for Tyrese Samuel. The Senior set a screen for Will Richard. Samuel was left open and ran to the basket. Richard floated a pass over to him, and the Montreal native slammed it home.

UP NEXT: The No.24 (19-8, 9-5) Gators are back home on Wednesday to take on conference opponent (8-19, 0-14) Missouri. The Tigers just lost to Arkansas 88-73. Florida beat Missouri 79-67 earlier this season. The Gators will play the Commodores again on March 9, to close out the 2023-24 regular season.

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