UF Defeats Tennessee

Senior forward Matt Bonner scored a season high 25 points, shooting 5-of-7 from three-point range as sixth ranked Florida (14-2, 3-0 SEC) defeated Tennessee (8-4, 1-2) 77-64 Wednesday night in front of 12,495 fans at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

"I thought our guys came in and played with a lot of energy," head coach Billy Donovan said. "I think we did a good job working the ball around. We spaced it out, had good movement and got the ball inside."

Bonner finished the game shooting 9-of-14 from the field and 5-of-7 from three-point range. His five three point baskets were a season-high, and he has now made a three in each of the last 13 games.

Five different Gators made three pointers with Florida shooting 10-of-19 from behind the arc. With that total Florida has knocked down 10 or more three-pointers in five of the last seven games.

In the first half, Bonner led all scoring with 15 points after connecting on 5-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three point range. Florida held the Vols to 37 percent shooting from the field during the half. The Gators only committed five fouls, keeping Tennessee away from the foul line during the entire first half.

Sophomore center David Lee contributed 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots in the win. Senior guard Brett Nelson had a season-high of 13 points and five assists. Freshman Matt Walsh added seven points and six assists for the Gators.

Florida held Tennessee's leading scorers below their season averages. Ron Slay was held to 17 points, five points lower than his season average on 7-of-24 shooting. The Gators also held Brandon Crump, who had been averaging in double figures, to just six points.

"We did a pretty good job defensively on [Ron] Slay and I thought we did a pretty good job on [Jon] Higgins tonight," Donovan said.

Tonight's game marked the first regular season appearance for freshman Christian Drejer. Drejer entered the game with 11:40 remaining in the first half and finished the game with four points in seven minutes of action.

"I just wanted to get his feet wet," Donovan said. "I saw some good things out there and we will be able to play him more and more. I did not want to overwhelm him and put him in a situation where he felt uncomfortable."

The win was the Gators' 10th straight, matching the second longest streak in school history.

Florida will travel to Columbia, S.C. to take on South Carolina on Saturday at 8 p.m. The Gators will return home to play Vanderbilt Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 8 p.m.


Fightin Gators Top Stories