Tennessee’s slide continued against the Gators Saturday night – the Vols fell 66-49 after trailing by 18 points at the half. With the loss, the Vols dropped to 14-14 overall. Here are five observations from the game.
Losing Streak Continues: The Vols have lost five consecutive games – a first since the 2000-2001 season – and have dropped nine of their last 11 games overall. It’s tough to believe that this team was 12-5 a little over a month ago. At this point, the Vols will have to put together a run to even have a shot at an NIT bid. Saturday night, the Vols looked like the team picked to finish 13th in the SEC prior to the season.
Gators Shoot The Lights Out: And Florida looked much more like the team ranked No. 7 before the season than they have at any point this year. The Gators shot a scorching 57% from the field and 43% from 3. For perspective, Florida entered the game shooting just 30% from 3 in SEC play. Finney–Smith, back from a three game suspension, was a big part of that. He was 4-5 from downtown and scored 20 points.
Richardson Struggles: Tennessee isn’t a great team when Richardson is playing well, but they’re darn near helpless when he’s not. He finished the game with seven points on 3-7 shooting and didn’t have a point until Florida had what proved to be an insurmountable lead. He didn’t get much help, either. Punter was 1-6 from the field for two points (he’s just 4-17 from the floor the last two games) while Robert Hubbs added just four points in 33 minutes of play.
Vols Get Owned on the Boards: The Gators held a 27-19 edge in rebounding and a crushing 15-3 advantage in second chance points. Playing two games in three days looked like it had an effect on the Vols. Tennessee simply looked gassed for much of the game and certainly didn’t come close to matching Florida from an energy perspective.
Moore Shines: Armani Moore was the lone bright spot for Tennessee. He took it to Florida and attacked the paint with consistency. He was 8-9 from the field (1-1 from 3) on his way to an 18 point and five rebound performance.
Corrected final stats. pic.twitter.com/lQ5iFSOO0X
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) March 1, 2015