KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee/Florida rivalry always 'just means more.'
No. 18 Tennessee Basketball improves to 5-3 in the conference play after defeating Florida Wednesday night 78-71.
This is Tennessee's seventh win in the last eight meetings with Florida.
The Gators were coming off a loss to Ole Miss on Monday night. Prior to that loss, Florida had won three straight.
The Gators carried that momentum into Thompson-Boling Arena.
It was a slow start for Tennessee, plagued with turnovers. The Vols had 11 first-half turnovers, and the Gators scored 17 points off those turnovers.
However, the Vols cleaned up their mistakes in the second half, committing only three second-half turnovers.
Freshman guards Kennedy Chandler and Zakai Zeigler sparked a comeback for the Vols late in the first half.
The duo finished with 28 points combined. Zeigler also added six rebounds.
The Vols shot 57% from three in the first half and 41% from the field.
Tennessee started the second half much stronger. The Vols started on an 11-0 run against the Gators. Then, with 10:30 left to play in the game, Tennessee took its first lead since leading 10-9.
Santiago Vescovi continues to be a consistent piece of the Vols' success. He led all scorers with 23 points.
The Vols out-scored Florida in the second half by 16. However, Tennessee was out-scored in the paint, 28-20.
NEXT UP: Tennessee travels to Austin, Texas Saturday to face Texas in the BIG 12/SEC Challenge. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m.
You can watch the team speak about the game below.