x
Breaking News
More () »

No. 18 Tennessee holds off Florida, moves to 5-3 in SEC play

The Gators were coming off a loss to Ole Miss on Monday night. Prior to that loss, Florida had won three straight.
Credit: AP
Tennessee forward Olivier Nkamhoua (13) drives against Florida guard Phlandrous Fleming Jr. (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

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.

RELATED: Uros Plavsic improving in increased role with Vols

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.