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Dores defeat Florida on the road, 68-66

Riding a four game losing streak, Vanderbilt threw all of that out of the window as they traveled to Gainesville and came away with an upset win over the nationally ranked Gators.

Vanderbilt got 19 points from guard Matthew Fisher-Davis and key plays down the stretch from Jeff Roberson and Nolan Cressler to defeat the #19th ranked Florida Gators in Gainesville, 68-66. 

The Commodores jumped out early to a 8-0 lead and showed early on that they came to play. Both teams struggled from the field early in the 1st half but heated up with 3:00 minutes remaining till halftime. The Gators (14-5/5-2) took a five point lead into halftime but in the second half, the game became a back and forth affair. 

It was a competitive second half where both team's traded baskets and made huge shots a key moments. The lead was changed multiple times but Vanderbilt was able to hang onto the lead longer because of their great defensive play.

Besides allowing Florida guard Kevaughn Allen to score 29 points, Vanderbilt played their best team defense of the season. Florida didn't get many open looks and the Commodores contested most shots and communicated very well. There were some break downs here and there but overall, Vanderbilt and head coach Bryce Drew did a great job of switching their defenses and not allowing the Gator offense to feel comfortable.

The Commodores competed hard on Saturday and were locked in, ready to play till the end. Clutch three's by Fisher-Davis and senior center Luke Kornet (11 pts, 4 reb) kept Vanderbilt ahead as the Gators were fighting back behind the stellar play of Allen. 

Cressler's layup from the baseline gave the Commodores the lead at 68-66 and a Gators missed basket, allowed the Dores another possession with the opportunity to put the game away. That didn't happen as Kornet threw a pass on the baseline that did not make it through and the Gators took the turnover back down the court with 13 seconds remaining. 

Fisher-Davis would knock the ball out of bounds with 6 seconds to go, which gave Gators head coach Michael White an opportunity to draw up a play for Florida's leading scoring in Allen. 

The sophomore guard received the pass in the corner and he would launch up a shot that fell short and into the hands of Commodores guard Riley LaChance

Vanderbilt drew a big sigh of relief and begin celebrating as it was obvious that the Commodores would go into Florida and come away with their 2nd SEC road win of the season. 

This was a great win over a ranked opponent for the Dores. The team had been struggling over the past two weeks while still competing hard but needed a win like this to bring their spirits up and hopefully gain confidence going through the rest of their SEC schedule. 

Fisher-Davis was the Dores leading scorer 19 but the team had four guys finish in double-figure scoring. Kornet had 11, Cressler with 10 and LaChance chipped in 11. Roberson was huge on glass, especially down the stretch and finished with a total of 8 boards.

The Commodores improved their record to 9-10 overall and 3-4 in the SEC. The team returns home for the next two games beginning on Tuesday night as they welcome the Arkansas Razorbacks into Memorial Gym. It should be another big SEC contest that is set to tip-off at 7:30 Central and airing on the SEC Network. 


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