Second half collapse dooms Vandy, 81-58

The fifth ranked Florida Gators used a second half aggressive defense and scoring explosion to rally past Vanderbilt 81-58. The loss dropped a foul prone Vanderbilt to 3-3 in the SEC as a trip to vastly improved Tennessee looms.

After Florida jumped out to an early 3-0 lead Vanderbilt's DeMarre Carroll sparked the Commodores to a 14-11 lead with 12:38 remaining in the first half. Carroll went on to lead all scorers with 18.

With 1:22 remaining in the half Vandy led 38-30. Two Florida steals and a Ted Skuchas foul later, the halftime score stood at Vanderbilt 38 Florida 35.

Florida's momentum would carry over into the second half. The Commodores played good defense to start the second half but their shots would not fall. Florida took the lead with 15:24 remaining in the game on an Al Horford free throw, which completed a three-point play. Horford led the Gators in scoring with 16 and pulled down 12 rebounds. After the game, when asked about some blood on his uniform, the physical Horford replied, "[that's] Vanderbilt blood …I don't bleed."

The missed shots hurt Vanderbilt but the fouls hurt the Commodores even more. DeMarre Carroll, who had sparked Vandy so well in the first half, was called for three fouls within the first five minutes of the second half. With 11 minutes remaining and Vandy trailing by six, Carroll collected his fourth foul. Three minutes later Vanderbilt trailed by 15.

After the game, Carroll related how the fouls affected his game; "Florida did a good job of taking us out of our offense. I know for me, personally, it was the fact that I got into early foul trouble. I know for the next game, I am not going to worry about fouls and just play my game."

Julian Terrell, who was also plagued with fouls, fouled out with 5 minutes remaining and Vanderbilt trailing by 16. Terrell scored six points and pulled down six rebounds.

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings also mentioned the impact of fouls on the game, "They over-powered us inside. We got into foul trouble. We got some bad fouls."

Vanderbilt falls to 12-5 (3-3 SEC). The Commodores next travel to #19 Tennessee on Wednesday. Florida, 18-2 (4-2 SEC), travels to Ole Miss on Tuesday.


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