GAINESVILLE, Fla.-- David Lee's 22 points led No. 5 Florida to an 87-75 victory over Vanderbilt Wednesday night at the O'Connell Center. The Commodores fell to 8-8, 1-4 in the SEC, but took some comfort in the fact that they were able to break out of their shooting doldrums.
Jason Holwerda, who had been struggling with his shot all season, erupted for 13 points in the first half on his way to a career high of 17. The sophomore was 7-of-9 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from 3-point territory. Matt Freije added 21 points. The Commodores connected on 9-of-18 3-pointers and shot 47% from the field.
Encouraging as the offensive performance was, Vanderbilt was outshot by Florida. The Gators found the range for ten 3-pointers, including 4-of-5 by freshman Anthony Roberson, and shot 56.4% from the field against a Vandy defense that was sometimes slow to get back downcourt.
The powerful Gators (16-2, 5-0), playing before a raucous home crowd, took control of the game late in the first half and coasted to a 51-40 halftime lead. Florida led by 20 at 70-50 before Vanderbilt began chipping away at the lead. The Commodores cut the lead to 78-70 with 2:40 to play, but the Gators were able to make free throws down the stretch to preserve their lead.
The Commodores, which have yet to win a road game this season, saw their road record fall to 0-6.
Kevin Stallings' Commodores get the weekend off before returning to action next weekend against Georgia in Nashville. The game is scheduled for regional television on Jefferson-Pilot.