'Dores Come Up Short Against No. 1 Gators

Jan. 31, 2007


With starters Ross Neltner and Dan Cage in early foul trouble, the Commodores needed its big men on the bench to step up against one of the best front lines in the nation. The 'Dores answered the test in the opening 20 minutes as Alan Metcalfe, Ted Skuchas, and JeJuan Brown used aggressive play to help VU build an 11-point lead at the half. Metcalfe led the charge with eight first half points including a sweet fade away jumper off the glass. He fell one point shy of a career high (9 at Ole Miss in 2006). The 'Dores ended up with 16 points off the bench, compared to Florida's six.

Vanderbilt built a big first half lead on solid shooting in the paint plus physical defensive play, holding Florida to 29% from the field. Fortunes quickly reversed in the closing twenty mintues as the Gators couldn't miss, shooting 72 percent on 16-of-22 shots, while limiting VU to 9-for-26 FG (35%).

Dan Cage has played a prominent role during Vanderbilt's run of success. The senior sharpshooter came into the game scoring in double figures in his last 12 games. The streak came to an end in Gainesville as he finished with four points (1-4 FG).

Sure, the Commodores four game win streak is over. VU has an even bigger game Saturday at home when they host the Georgia Bulldogs (5-3 SEC) in a critical conference matchup at 6 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available, so bring your family and friends to help continue to make Memorial one of the toughest places to play in the country. Call 615.322.GOLD to order tickets.
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Box Score |  Quotes

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Lee Humphrey made three consecutive 3-pointers to key Florida's rally from a double-digit deficit and the top-ranked Gators beat Vanderbilt 74-64 on Wednesday night.

Humphrey, one of the best outside shooters in the country, added another 3 that gave Florida a 70-59 lead with 2:56 remaining and essentially sealed the team's 13th straight victory.

The Gators (20-2, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half and were down 41-30 at the break. But they looked much more like the defending national champions in the second half.

It started with Humphrey, who finished with 15 points.

After the Gators tied the game at 45, Humphrey hit three shots from long range on consecutive possessions -- the last one two steps behind the line. He was 5-of-8 from 3-point range and is 28-of-40 in conference play.

Joakim Noah and Al Horford took over from there.

The duo struggled in the first half, getting double teamed down low and combining to shoot 4-of-10 from the field. But they dominated inside after the break.

Noah made three straight baskets -- a layup and two dunks -- and then Horford followed with two slams and a free throw. The second dunk came on the end of an ally-oop pass that gave the Gators a 10-point advantage, 65-55.

Noah had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Horford added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Gators stopped Vanderbilt's four-game winning streak that included upset victories at Kentucky and LSU.

Derrick Byars led Vandy with 21 points, including 14 in the first half.

The Commodores return home for a crucial conference matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs at 6 p.m. CT Saturday in Memorial Gym. Tickets are still available by calling 615.322.GOLD.



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