Vanderbilt upsets No. 17 Florida 72-62 OT win in SEC tourney

Mark Humphrey/AP Florida players leave the court with head coach Mike White, left, after they were upset by Vanderbilt 72-62 in overtime in an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference tournament Friday, March 10, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. | The anchor dropped again on the Florida Gators.

 

With a chance to beat Vanderbilt for the first time in three games this season, UF missed a foul shot and two layups on its final two possessions in regulation and was then blitzed 14-4 by the Commodores in overtime to get a rude exit from the SEC Tournament on Friday with a 72-62 loss at the Bridgestone Arena.

No. 17-ranked and second-seeded Florida (24-9) not only fell to seventh-seeded Vandy (19-14) for the fifth time in a row,covering the last two seasons, but the Gators limp into next week’s NCAA Tournament with losses in three of their last four games. UF will find out its regional location and opponent on Sunday.

Vanderbilt will play the Arkansas-Ole Miss winner in the semifinals Saturday. Kentucky will face Alabama in the other semifinal.

“It was a really hard-fought game … I thought both teams left it out there on the floor,” said Florida coach Mike White.“We had our opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of. Troubled, offensively, obviously, against a Vanderbilt team defending at a really high level.”

The Gators were plagued by frigid shooting the entire game and trailed 57-49 with 3:23 left in regulation. However,KeVaughn Allen and Kasey Hill hit 3-point shots during an 8-0 run, with Allen’s tying the game at 57-57 with 1:41remaining.

The Commodores came up empty on their next two possessions, both misses by Matthew Fisher-Davis. UF’s Devin Robinson drove for a layup that rattled out but he was fouled and made the back end with 24.6 seconds left for a one-point lead.Jeff Roberson did the same for the Commodores, with 9.7 seconds left to re-tie the game and set the stage for the finalplay.

Hill drove the lane right at Vandy’s 7-foot center Luke Kornet, missed the layup, and Kevarrius Hayes missed the follow-up to send the game into the extra period.

“He got me turned,” Kornet said about Hill’s drive. “I closed my eyes and jumped. Luckily it didn’t fall.”

Hill said “it was a good look … I just missed it.”

Riley LaChance led all scorers with 18 points, sinking 4 of 7 3-point attempts. Roberson had 16 points and eight rebounds andKornet had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

 

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