Florida 69, Vanderbilt 61
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP)—Anthony Roberson continued to torment Vanderbilt, scoring 23 points and leading Florida to a 69-61 victory against the Commodores on Wednesday night.
Roberson carried the Gators early and late, helping them rebound from a four-point defeat at LSU over the weekend and improve to 7-0 following a loss.
Not surprisingly, he did it against Vandy.
Roberson entered the game averaging 23.5 points against the Commodores, including 90 points in their last three matchups.
He scored Florida’s first 11 points of the game, opening with consecutive 3-pointers, adding a three-point play and capping his solo run with a driving basket.
Roberson didn’t score again in the half, but he did plenty of damage after the break. He hit a running one-hander and a driving layup that helped Florida (17-7, 9-4 Southeastern Conference) push its lead to 38-30 with about 16 minutes to play.
The Commodores (16-11, 6-7) bounced back and took a 41-40 lead—their first of the game—on Corey Smith’s layup. They were still ahead, 49-48, when the Gators had three critical possessions that put the game away.
David Lee grabbed a rebound off Roberson’s missed 3-pointer and sank the putback. Matt Walsh made a layup after a Vandy miss. Then Roberson hit a midrange jumper to make it 54-49. Corey Brewer continued the run with a putback off another of Roberson’s missed 3-pointers.
Roberson capped the 11-0 run with a 3-pointer. He drew contact, paused and then calmly sank the shot from the top of the circle. The play, and the Gators 59-49 lead, sent the crowd at the O’Connell Center into a frenzy and sent others to the exits.
The Commodores struggled down the stretch without leading scorer Mario Moore, who picked up his fourth foul with about 14 minutes remaining. Moore finished with 12 points.
Smith led Vandy with 15 points, and Shan Foster added 11.
Roberson finished 9-of-17 from the field, including 4-of-10 from 3-point range. Walsh chipped in 16, and Lee added 13 points and 14 rebounds.
The Gators won for just the second time this season (2-7) when scoring less than 80 points. They had a chance to create big lead early, but had nine turnovers in the first half and got no scoring from the bench.