Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - The 11th-ranked Florida Gators set their
sights on an outright SEC title, as they welcome the Vanderbilt Commodores to
the O'Connell Center on Wednesday night.
Billy Donovan's Gators have already secured a share of the conference crown
and need only one win in their last two games to earn the outright title.
Florida has won two of its last three games and picked up a share of the
conference with last weekend's 64-52 win over Alabama.
Kevin Stallings' Commodores have struggled this season, sitting two games
under .500 overall (13-15) and in conference play (7-9). However, Vanderbilt
has played well down the stretch with wins in three straight and four of its
last five games, including a 62-55 victory over Auburn last time out.
Vanderbilt leads the all-time series 64-60, but Florida has closed the gap of
late with wins in four of the last five meetings. The Gators, who are a
perfect 14-0 at home this season, are 13-3 all-time against the Commodores in
The Commodores' lack of scoring depth has really plagued the team this season
and kept it from competing at a more consistent level. The team is averaging
just 60.2 ppg and shooting a mediocre .410 from the floor. The defensive
effort has been much better, with foes being held to just 59.6 ppg and a mere
.407 shooting. Vanderbilt has two players currently averaging double-figure
scoring totals in Kedren Johnson and Rod Odom. Johnson is tops on the team in
scoring (13.6 ppg) thanks in large part to this team-high 51 3-pointers.
Johnson serves as the team's top distributor as well (3.7 apg) and also paces
the squad in steals (31). Odom (10.2 ppg) is next in line in the scoring
column, but is shooting just .366 from the floor.
It was once again a less-than-stellar performance in terms of shooting
efficiency for Vanderbilt, but the Commodores were able to overcome a mere
.327 shooting performance by limiting the Tigers to just a .357 outing, while
netting 10 3-pointers and outscoring Auburn at the free-throw line, 20-12.
Johnson was just 2-of-11 from the floor, but finished with 16 points and eight
assists, thanks to a 10-of-15 effort from the charity stripe. Kevin Bright
added 14 points, while Josh Henderson tallied 11 points in the win.
Florida has thrived at both ends of the floor this season, ranking second
nationally in scoring margin (+19.3), third in scoring defense (53.4 ppg) and
seventh in field-goal percentage defense (.376), while leading the SEC in
field-goal percentage (.488), 3-pointers made (8.5 per game), 3-point accuracy
(.379) and assists (15.5 apg). Scoring depth is apparent with four of the five
starters averaging double figures. Mike Rosario leads the team at 12.9 ppg.
Fellow guard Kenny Boynton follows closely with 12.5 ppg, while Erik Murphy
(12.4 ppg) and Patric Young (10.4 ppg) provide frontcourt balance. Scottie
Wilbekin (9.1 ppg) completes the starting five and is one of the SEC's top
distributors, doling out 5.3 apg.
The Gators used a 15-0 run in the second half to create some breathing room
between themselves and the Crimson Tide and picked up the win and in turn a
share of the conference title. Four players notched double digits in the win
for Florida, led by Murphy's 15 points. Boynton finished with 13 points, while
Wilbekin and Casey Prather netted 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Sports Network