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Williams, Schofield Troll Florida After Vols’ Win

As a Vol, Grant Williams had plenty of bragging rights against the Florida Gators. And thanks to the Vols’ victory on Saturday, he and Tennessee can still get the last laugh against the Gators.

The Vols (16-13, 8-8 SEC) jumped out to a 19-point lead with 12 minutes to go in the second half against Florida (18-11, 10-6) on Saturday afternoon in Knoxville, but the Gators wouldn’t go away quietly. Florida’s offense woke up after a brutal start to the game, and their defense clamped down.

Suddenly, with just under three minutes left to play, Florida had cut the Vols’ lead to just one point.

That’s when redshirt junior forward John Fulkerson did something he hadn’t done in his entire Tennessee career: Make a three-pointer.

Fulkerson took an inbounds pass with just a handful of seconds left on the shot clock and heaved up a three at the top of the key. His shot fell through the net, and the Thompson-Boling Arena crowd erupted as Tennessee’s lead grew back to four, 58-54. Fulkerson would slam home a putback dunk about a minute later, giving the Vols a decisive 60-56 edge.

Despite Florida’s comeback efforts, the Vols ended up prevailing 63-58. The win gave Tennessee their fourth-straight victory over the Gators, and it marked the fifth time in the last six meetings that the Vols have beaten Florida.

After the game, former Vol star Grant Williams took to Twitter to rub the victory in Florida’s face.

During the 2018-19 season, Tennessee traveled down to Gainesville and took on the Gators. In what was a back-and-forth affair for most of the game, the Vols were able to grab a 65-63 lead with 5:39 to go and would never look back. The dagger came when Williams found Admiral Schofield for a three with 45 seconds remaining to give UT a 72-67 lead. Tennessee would end up winning 78-67, and Williams and his teammates mocked Florida fans after the victory by doing the Gators’ signature “Gator chomp” toward the crowd.

After that game, Tennessee’s players said that some of the insults hurled their way by Florida fans were “inhumane,” and that led to UT’s players letting out their frustrations after the win.

On Saturday, Williams again got to poke fun at Florida fans, sharing a video from the Vols’ 78-67 victory in Gainesville from 2019 of him doing the Gator chomp, adding “Gator Bait” in a tweet that also tagged his former Vol teammates Schofield, Jordan Bone, and Kyle Alexander.

Williams also sang the praises of his former teammate John Fulkerson, saying he texted the redshirt junior on Friday and told him to “lead and carry the young team” for Saturday’s game. Fulkerson scored a game-high 22 points, and 16 of those points came in the second half of Tennessee’s victory.

The two-time SEC Player of the Year wasn’t the only former Vol player to antagonize Gator fans, though.

Schofield also tweeted out a gif of Williams doing the Gator chomp, tagging his NBA teammate Bradley Beal in the tweet. Beal played for the Florida Gators during the 2011-12 season and was an All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman performer in his one and only season at UF.

Williams led all players with 20 points in Tennessee’s win in Gainesville in 2019, and he pulled down a game-high nine rebounds as well. Schofield added 14 points and eight rebounds in the game.

Both Williams and Schofield are now in the NBA, both getting selected in the 2019 NBA Draft. Williams was taken in the first round by the Boston Celtics while Schofield ended up with the Washington Wizards in the second round.

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Williams and Schofield ended their respective Tennessee careers scattered across UT’s record books. Williams was a unanimous First Team All-American selection his junior season, and he won back-to-back SEC Player of the Year awards as a sophomore and junior. Schofield was a First Team All-SEC selection as a senior and was an All-American honorable mention by the Associated Press.

The duo finished their UT careers with over 1,500 career points apiece, and both finished their careers with over 650 rebounds apiece as well. Williams’ 1,629 career points rank 12th in school history, and Schofield’s 1,570 career points rank 16th.

In the NBA, Williams has been a contributor primarily off the bench for the Celtics, appearing in 56 games and making four starts, averaging 3.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 15.6 minutes a game. Schofield has split time between the NBA and the G League, averaging 3.2 points and 1.3 rebounds in 11.2 minutes a game in 26 appearances for the Wizards (including two starts). In 29 starts in the G League for the Capital City Go-Go squad, Schofield is third on the team in scoring with 15.9 points a game, adding 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while making 37.5 percent of his threes.



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