Red-hot Gator shooting was the story in the first half as the Gators rarely missed early on. Less than two minutes into the contest Kenny Boynton swished it in from behind the arc to give the Gators an early 5-0 lead. Boynton would go on to make six threes during the game including four during the first half.
After the Gators built their early lead to 9-2 with 17 minutes to go, Vanderbilt battled back and cut the lead to 12-10 on back-to-back three pointers by freshman John Jenkins. Vanderbilt then went on a 9-2 run and took a 19-14 lead on a Lance Goulbourne three pointer. However an Erving Walker three put the Gators back up 29-22 with just under 10 minutes left in the half. Two free throws by Jermaine Beal put Vanderbilt on top again, 32-31, with 5:44 before halftime. Florida was then able to build a 5-point lead but A.J. Ogilvy's 3-point play tied the score at 42 with 15 seconds left. Alex Tyus' dunk as time expired gave the visitors a 44-42 lead at the break.
In the second half Vandy took advantage of cooled Gator 3-point shooting (57% vs. 38%). Three straight baskets by Ogilvy, including two dunks, gave Vanderbilt a 48-46 lead with 17 minutes to go in the game. Florida then re-took the lead at 53-52 on a steal and layup by Boynton at the 16-minute mark. But the Commodores responded quickly as Jenkins drilled a three pointer to put Vandy back on top, 55-53.
Vanderbilt built their lead to six on a put-back by Walker with 10:45 left. A layup by Beal less than a minute later gave the Commodore a more comfortable, 67-59, edge. An Ogilvy layp gave Vandy a 73-64 lead with just over 7 minutes to go. After Florida had cut the lead to seven, a spinning 3-point play by Steven Tchiengang gave Vandy a 76-66 lead with 6:43 left in the game.
Florida would not go down easy though, as the Gators cut the lead to four with 5:20 remaining on a Chandler Parsons layup. But another Goulbourne 3-pointer put Vanderbilt back up by seven with just over five minutes remaining in the game. Performing well off the bench, Goulbourne finished with 7 points and was 2-of-3 from three-point range.
After Florida briefly cut the lead to six, VU responded with two Beal free throws followed by a Jenkins steal that setup another Taylor made dunk to give the Commodores a 10-point lead with three minutes to go. Vandy then made 10-of-11 free throws in the final moments to secure the big win.
After the game, Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings commented on the similarities in Florida's shooting between the game this year and last year's Vandy loss, "There was a sense at halftime that they were playing the same way as last year, but last year they were up by 23 [points]. It was just a high-scoring game. A bunch of guys made shots and Andre Walker had a big game. He really impacted this game and he played well.
Vanderbilt forced 14 Gator turnovers while only committing only seven themselves and outscored Florida, 20-8, in points off turnovers. Florida head coach Billy Donovan saw this disparity as one of the keys to his team's demise, "I don't think our shooting was a problem for us today, but the biggest difference in the game was their points off turnovers and the amount of points they scored around the basket and in the lane."
Ogilvy led Vanderbilt with 24 and Beal added 22. Taylor and Jenkins had 14 and 13 respectively. Boynton led the Gators with 28 points.
Vanderbilt improves to 12-3 (1-0 SEC) with the win. The Commodores will next visit Alabama on Wednesday. Florida falls to 11-4 (0-1 SEC) will host Kentucky on Tuesday. Vanderbilt now leads the all-time series with Florida, 62-56.
Vanderbilt improves to 12-3 (1-0 SEC) with the win. The Commodores will next visit Alabama on Wednesday. Florida falls to 11-4 (0-1 SEC) and hosts Kentucky on Tuesday.
Vanderbilt center A. J. Ogilvy (4) lays in a shot as he is defended by Florida's Dan Werner (21) during the second half of an NCAA basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tenn. Florida forward Alex Tyus (23) is at right. Ogilvy led Vanderbilt with 24 points in their 95-87 win. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)