Florida forward Tyrese Samuel (4) blocks a shot by Vanderbilt Commodores guard Malik Presley during the second half Saturday at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn. [Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports]

Florida Men’s Basketball Ends Regular Season With Loss At Vanderbilt

Several turnovers in the last seconds of Saturday’s game led to the Florida Gators men’s basketball team to suffer a 79-78 loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn.

In a back-and-forth matchup, Vanderbilt (9-22, 4-14 SEC) came out victorious after a layup from Tyrin Lawrence‘s in the final 15 seconds following a UF turnover on an inbounds play. Trailing 79-78 with four seconds left, the Gators committed another turnover to seal the Commodores’ upset win.

How it Happened

Florida (21-10, 11-7) started slow in the first half, committing eight turnovers to allow Vanderbilt to cut a 12-point lead to seven (39-32) at the half of the last regular-season game.

Points scored at the free-throw line helped the Commodores stay close.

The size and height of the Florida’s bigs also made it difficult for Vanderbilt to find its groove against the Gators.

https://twitter.com/GatorsMBK/status/1766588920236531823

Florida also had five blocks in the first half compared to Vanderbilt’s three, and Vanderbilt allowed Florida to put up 18 points in the paint in the first half.

Going into the break, Zyon Pullin and Walter Clayton Jr. led the Gators with 11 points each. Clayton put up three triples and Pullin had no turnovers.

Out Of The Break

Vanderbilt came out aggressive and was able to meet up with Florida to tie the game at 43.

From there, the lead fluctuated between the Gators and Commodores until the last few moments of play.

The Commodores outscored the Gators 21-6 in second-chance points. Vanderbilt also scored 19 points off 16 UF turnovers.

Ven-All Lubin led the Commodores with a career-high 25 points. Pullin led the Gators with 20.

Up Next

Florida is the No. 6 seed at next week’s SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Tennessee is the No. 1 seed.

The Gators will have a bye into Thursday’s second round and will play at about 9:45 p.m. ET against the winner of the Missouri-Georgia game.

About Emma Pastis

Emma Pastis is an Orlando, FL native who is a second-year journalism student at the University of Florida.

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