Instant Analysis: Disappointing finish to a promising regular season

Vanderbilt 79 - Florida 78

by Joseph Torviso
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Florida, apparently still on a high after their midweek upset over No. 16 Alabama, gave away a 12-point lead, and choked on the road yet again. The Gators fell to the Vanderbilt Commodores 79-78 to end regular season play.

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

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Walter Clayton Jr. turned the ball over on the inbound with 23 seconds to go. The Commodores took full advantage of this opportunity and Tyrin Lawrence scored a layup. The Gators had one last shot to make something happen, but Clayton Jr. turned the ball over again and lost Florida the game.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW: Zyon Pullin had an amazing game for Florida today. He had 20 points, eight assists and five rebounds. He was the vocal point of this Gators offense, but his team let him down defensively tonight.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE: Vandy could not buy a bucket in the first half. The Commodores ended the first half 9-34 shooting 26%. They instead relied on the free throw line making 11-12 shots from the charity stripe. Vanderbilt picked it up in the second half leading to the Commodores’ comeback, ending the night shooting 35.5%.

THIS MATCHUP PROVIDED KEY: Ven-Allen Lubin matched up against Tyrese Samuel. Both big men were impressive offensively scoring 25 and 16 points respectively. However, Lubin did better on the glass grabbing 11 rebounds to Samuel’s four resulting in a double-double.

WHAT A PLAY: After Micah Handlogten scored his first bucket of the game, he got dunked on at the other end. JQ Roberts received the ball at the top of the key. Handlogten stepped in too wide giving the Commodore room to attack the basket. Handlogten contested at the rim, but Roberts posterized him.

UP NEXT: The Gators (21-10, 11-7) next game is in the SEC tournament. The tournament will be held from March 13-17 in Nashville, Tennessee. As it stands, the Gators are the sixth seed and will play either Georgia or Missouri on March 14. Florida split the season series against Vanderbilt.

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