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Florida 66, Vanderbilt 40

The SportsXchange

GAINESVILLE -- Senior Kenny Boynton scored 15 points, lifting No. 8 Florida to a 66-40 win over Vanderbilt Wednesday night at the O'Connell Center.

The Gators (24-5, 14-3 SEC) clinched their fourth outright regular season SEC title in school history and second in the past three years. Patric Young added 14 points for the Gators and Erik Murphy had 10 points and six rebounds.

Kederen Johnson led Vanderbilt (13-16, 7-10 SEC) with 15 points. The Commodores shot just 26.9 percent from the field and 16.7 percent (4-for-24) from 3-point range.

Vanderbilt cut Florida's lead to 37-29 early in the second half on a pair of free throws from Sheldon Jeter. But up 43-32, Florida put the game away with a 13-0 run.

On Senior Night, the Gators turned to a junior in the early going. Young scored 10 of Florida's first 19 points on a variety of hook shots in the lane.

Up 11-6, Florida went on a 9-0 run fueled by defense. During the stretch, the Gators forced two shot-clock violations and threw the Commodores out of rhythm with their press. Though Florida forced just six turnovers in the first half, the Gators forced Vanderbilt into several rushed shot attempts.

A Murphy free throw put Florida up 20-6, but Vanderbilt responded with a quick 5-0 run. Johnson made Vanderbilt's only 3-pointer of the first half to cut Florida's lead to 20-11. Scottie Wilbekin stopped the run with a 3-pointer, and Florida went into halftime up 24-14.

The Gators held Vanderbilt to 22.7 percent shooting in the first half and 10 percent (1-for-10) from 3-point range. Florida shot 43.5 percent from the field and 2-for-6 from 3-point range before the break. The Gators outscored Vanderbilt 16-4 in the paint during the first half.

NOTES: Florida seniors Murphy, Boynton and Mike Rosario were honored during pregame Senior Day ceremonies. ... With the new unbalanced SEC schedule this season, Florida and Vanderbilt will play just once. It marks the first time since 1965 that the two schools have not played a home-and-home series.
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