The Tennessee Volunteers took another step towards making the NCAA tournament on Tuesday night. The Vols walked out of Thompson Boling arena with a 64-58 win over the Florida Gators.
The game started out sloppy for the Vols, with Florida jumping out to 10-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game. Tennessee eventually gained the lead before halftime, but Florida would take the lead back early in the second half. Tennessee took the lead from the Gators with 16 minutes left in the game, and never looked back.
Guard Jordan McRae led the Volunteers in scoring with 27 points, including 3 three-pointers. McRae was the only Vol to score in double figures. Jarnell Stokes missed his 13th double-double of the season by two points. Stokes had 14 rebounds and was a force on the boards for Tennessee. The Vols out rebounded the Gators 40-29. Trae Golden scored 8 points for the Vols, and Josh Richardson added 7 points.
Mike Rosario led Florida in scoring with 16 points.
The win over the 8th ranked Gators will certainly boost Tennessee’s RPI. Combined with their impressive win over Kentucky, the Vols have put together an impressive resume over the last month. After starting February with two losses, the Vols have won their last six to finish the month with a 6-2 record.
Tennessee has now won their last three games against Florida. ESPN had Florida as a probable number one seed before the game, but replaced them with Michigan after the Gator loss.
The Vols are now 17-10 overall and 9-6 in the SEC, with three games left in the season before the SEC tournament begins.
The Vols will head to Athens on Saturday to take on the Georgia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are responsible for one of Tennessee’s two losses in February, beating the Vols 68-62 on February 6th. Georgia is 13-14 overall and 7-7 in the SEC. The Bulldogs take on Vanderbilt Wednesday night.
Tennessee and Georgia will tip off at 1:45 pm est on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on the SEC network.