Jan. 19, 2005
By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Scooter McFadgon scored 23 points, including the final five in overtime, to lead Tennessee to a 83-76 victory over Florida on Wednesday night.
Chris Lofton hit six 3-pointers and added 22 points for the Volunteers, who handed the Gators their first Southeastern Conference loss.
Tennessee almost gave this one away.
The Volunteers (10-7, 3-2) blew a six-point lead with less than 2 minutes to play in regulation and missed two free throws with 27 seconds to play in overtime. But Florida (11-4, 3-1) took poor shots and had two crucial turnovers down the stretch that helped Tennessee put it away.
McFadgon and Lofton also came up big.
McFadgon made five of six free throws in the final 47 seconds, and Lofton hit consecutive 3-pointers to open the extra frame.
Matt Walsh, Florida's leading scorer, surprisingly returned from a severely sprained left ankle and gave the Gators a brief boost. But he also hurt them in the second half, committing two turnovers in Tennessee's 11-0 run that put the Vols ahead 55-45.
Walsh - who sprained his ankle Dec. 30, missed the last four games and wasn't expected to return until at least February - finished with six points, two assists and three turnovers in 13 minutes.
Florida came back behind three 3-pointers - two by Anthony Roberson and another from Taurean Green - and cut the lead to 68-62 with 1:52 remaining in regulation.
Roberson, who finished with 26 points on 9-of-26 shooting, hit a 3-pointer with Brandon Crump in his face to even the score at 70 with 7.8 seconds to play.
McFadgon's 20-footer at the buzzer came up short.
After Lofton's two 3-pointers in overtime, Florida drew even on Corey Brewer's steal and layup, but the Gators didn't score again.
Roberson missed two 3-pointers, including one from about 25 feet. David Lee was called for a charge, missed a short shot in the lane and threw the ball away with 4.7 seconds to play.
Crump added 18 points for Tennessee.