KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Victor Bailey Jr., John Fulkerson and Keon Johnson scored 14 points apiece and Tennessee rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Florida 65-54 on Sunday in the ordinary-season finale for each groups.
Tennessee (17-7, 10-7 SEC) secured the No. 4 seed and a bye into the Friday’s quarterfinals of the convention tournament.
Fulkerson added seven rebounds and 4 assists and Josiah-Jordan James had eight points and 10 boards for the Volunteers.
Florida oldschool a 13-2 skedaddle to exhaust a 31-17 lead with five minutes left in the first half of but Tennessee scored 11 of the final 13 first-half of points to tidy its deficit to five on the destroy. Florida missed seven consecutive, and 9 of 10, from the discipline as the Vols ripped off a 21-4 spurt — including eight points by Bailey — to present it 53-43 with 7: 33 to play.
Tyree Appleby had 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting and Colin Castleton added 11 points for Florida (13-9, 9-7).
The fifth-seeded Gators play the winner between No. 12 seed Texas A&M and No. 13 seed Vanderbilt in Thursday’s 2nd round.
After being outrebounded 18-16 in the first half of, Tennessee used to be plus-11 on the glass in the 2nd. Florida had staunch 21 points after the destroy, its lowest-scoring half of of the season.
The Gators went into the sport leading the SEC in free-throw percentage (.760, 37th NCAA), discipline-intention percentage (.472, 42nd NCAA) and 3-point discipline-intention percentage (.359, 78th NCAA). On Sunday, they shot 41.7% from the discipline, made 3 of 13 (23.1%) from behind the arc and hit 11 of 18 (61.1%) free throws.
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