The Vanderbilt Commodores had one of those nights where everything went their way in an 87-74 win over Florida in Gainesville. Shot after shot dangled on the rim and fell in for them while similar shots fell out for Florida. But that was just the start.
After they got out to an early lead, the Gators came back and were poised to go into the halftime locker room tied. But a nice block on Schuyler Rimmer’s driving layup fell into the hands of Vandy’s Josh Henderson who turned and heaved the ball toward the rim from 80 feet out. The ball found nothing but the inside of the net and the Commodores would then go to the locker room up 40-35.
But that wasn’t end of it. Vandy’s Fisher-Davis, who blocked Rimmer’s shot to set up the desperation heave, got in on the act as well when he reacted to coach Stallings screaming for him to shoot with the shot clock running out. From several feet behind the three point arc he turned and threw the ball up toward the bucket and the ball hit off the glass and went in. Just like they drew it up, right?
Still, the Gators had a chance to tie or take the lead when they cut it to 69-67 on four straight possessions, but could not convert. They had plenty of good looks that just wouldn’t fall. Vandy then went on a 9-0 run from there to put the game away. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky then good.
The win was huge for Vandy who went into the game on Bracket Expert Joe Lunardi’s “First Four Out” list. This win could get them on the NCAA Tournament “Last Four In” list.
Florida went into the game as a projected #8 seed, but with their second straight loss and also second straight home loss, the wheels appear to be falling off the Gators wagon.