No. 1 Tennessee cruises past Florida for 18th straight win

Reuters

With consistent, balanced scoring and exceptional ball movement, Tennessee is handling the role of being the No. 1 team in the country nicely.

Senior forward Grant Williams led four scorers in double figures with 16 points, lifting the Vols to a 73-61 win over Florida at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.

Admiral Schofield added 14 points and 6 rebounds to help lift Tennessee (22-1, 10-0 Southeastern Conference) to its 18th straight win. Junior guard Jordan Bowden scored 13 points off the bench, while junior point guard Jordan Bone had 10 points and 5 assists.

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Tennessee spread the wealth with 17 assists to just 13 turnovers. The Vols led by as many as 16 points in the first half and 19 points in the second half.

Freshman guard Noah Locke led Florida (12-11, 4-6 SEC) with 17 points. Senior guard Jalen Hudson added 15 points off the bench and senior guard KeVaughn Allen scored 11 points, but it wasn't enough for the Gators to avoid their third straight loss. Florida was held under 65 points for the ninth time in 23 games this season.

Tennessee shot 46.2 percent from the field in the first half to jump to a 36-30 halftime lead. The Vols led by as many as 16 points in the first half, going up 32-16 after a Williams three-point play.

But Florida was able to get back into the game by outscoring Tennessee 14-4 in the final 4:41 of the first half.

Allen made a pair of 3-pointers during the run, including a 3-pointer that cut UT's lead to 36-30 with 1:06 left in the first half. Allen had another chance to cut into Tennessee's lead, but his layup attempt spun out at the buzzer, which allowed the Vols to take a six-point lead into halftime.

Williams and Schofield each scored eight first-half points for Tennessee, while Allen and Hudson both scored nine points in the first half for the Gators.

Florida cut Tennessee's lead to 4 points, 40-36, on a driving layup by freshman point guard Andrew Nembhard early in the second half. But Tennessee answered with an 8-0 run, which included back-to-back 3-points by junior guard Lamonte Turner to put the Vols back up comfortably 48-36.

--Field Level Media

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