Florida 73, Tennessee 71
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Demetri Hill scored a game-high 30 points, including a game-winning jumper at the buzzer, to lead Florida past late-charging Tennessee 73-71 Saturday.
The Gators (11-15, 6-10 Southeastern Conference) snapped a five-game losing streak. Florida’s last victory was also against Tennessee (13-13, 6-10).
In a battle of senior centers, Hill came out on top against Tennessee’s Steve Hamer, who finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds.
Greg Williams with 11 points and Greg Stolt with 10 were the only other Gators in double figures. Damon Johnson scored 14 for Tennessee and Shane Williams had 18.
Hill was on fire most of the game, scoring 19 points on 9-11 shooting in the first half to put the Gators up 36-24 at halftime. Florida shot 59 percent for the game, helped by Hill’s 13-20 from the field.
Tennessee, which shot 28 percent in the first half, hit 51 percent in the second stanza as the Vols fought back from a 17-point Florida lead (47-30) that came on a Hill hook with 14:48 to play.
Hamer scored 17 points in the late charge, capped by Aaron Greene’s 3-pointer with 29 seconds left to tie the game 71-71.
Florida controlled the ball, called timeout with 13 seconds. Then the Gators worked it to Hill to hit the game winner from 8 feet.
The game was the regular season finale for the both teams, who now head to the SEC Tournament March 7-10 in New Orleans.