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Instant Analysis: Florida ends three game skid with 66-57 win

February 13, 2019
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The Florida Gators (13-11, 5-6) claimed a much-needed win on Wednesday night in Exactech Arena, causing havoc on the defensive side of the ball and beating the Vanderbilt Commodores (9-15, 0-11) 66-57. In what was a tight battle throughout, UF was able to win a game that came down to the wire, something it has struggled with prior to tonight.

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We Chomp Chat: Florida-Vanderbilt Game Thread

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WHAT WENT RIGHT: Defense was the highlight of the game, and it wasn't close. The Gators caused the Dores to turn it over almost 20 times, flying all over the court for most of the game and keeping the matchup within their grasp while the offense faltered at times.

HE STOLE THE SHOW: Freshman Keyontae Johnson shined for the Gators on Wednesday night, scoring in double figures with 15 points, adding nine rebounds as well. Isaiah Stokes had a surprisingly good game, scoring eight points, capitalizing on extra minutes while Kevarrius Hayes sat on the bench most of the first half due to foul trouble. Senior Jalen Hudson also had double-figure scoring, filling up the stat sheet with 10 points after playing 28 minutes. Vanderbilt's Aaron Nesmith led the charge for Vandy. He put 26 points through the basket to go along with nine rebounds. Saban Lee was held in check, managing only four points with three assists.

NUMBERS DON'T LIE: Turnovers were a big factor in Wednesday night's contest. Florida's defense was noticeably aggressive for most of the night, causing the Commodores to commit 19 turnovers and scoring 26 off of those turnovers. Points-off turnovers was a crucial stat that Florida absolutely dominated Vandy in, outscoring them 26 to 10. Offensively, the percentages were less than ideal for both teams. The Gators shot just 33 percent (19-57) from the field, including 23 percent from three (5-of-22). Vanderbilt could only manage 35 percent shooting (18-of-51). It was obvious both of these teams are limited on that side of the ball, but the Gators did just enough to leave Exactech Arena victorious.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Florida picked up a win it desperately needed, coming off of three-straight losses, slowly watching its postseason hopes fade. However, with the win tonight, the Gators have an opportunity to build off the momentum by picking up some crucial victories down the stretch with just seven games remaining before the SEC Tournament in March.

UP NEXT: The Florida Gators will hit the road on Saturday to take on Alabama (15-9, 6-5) in Tuscaloosa. The Tide are coming off a blow-out loss to Mississippi State on the road. Bama however has faired well at home, having already beaten three ranked opponents in Coleman Coliseum. Florida last played Bama at home a year ago, scoring only 50 points on the way to an 18-point loss. This weekend's contest tips-off at 2 p.m.

Instant Analysis: Florida ends three game skid with 66-57 win

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