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Vanderbilt 60, Florida 59: Gators do too little until too late in road loss

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An exasperating defeat.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

With just seconds to play, Chris Chiozza found KeVaughn Allen in the corner off a baseline out of bounds play. Allen sank it as time expired, giving him his third such clutch three in the final minute of play.

One problem: Florida was down by four.

The relatively meaningless make was a good metaphor for the Gators doing too little until it was too late against Vanderbilt in a 60-59 loss on Tuesday night, though!

Vanderbilt got 24 points from Wade Baldwin IV, 20 points and 12 rebounds from Damian Jones, and six blocks from Luke Kornet, and never trailed the Gators after a 3-2 lead early. The Commodores never gave up their lead after an 11-0 run timed to John Egbunu's second foul and departure for the bench early in the first half, either.

But it wasn't for lack of trying by the Gators. They recovered from an abysmal 19-point first half to outscore Vandy by 10 in the second period, and Kasey Hill had a season-high 16 points off the bench to match Allen's own 16 for team-high honors, scattering those points slightly better than did Allen, who poured in 11 points in the final 33 seconds of play. Dorian Finney-Smith added 12 points and 14 rebounds, and Chris Chiozza had 10 points on an off night.

The rest of the Gators? Just seven points, and only a single made shot by Egbunu. Florida struggled mightily to score in the half court until literally the last minute, and shot 32.9 percent from the field by getting hot in the second half — though, after going 7-for-33 in the first half, lukewarm would have seemed hot.

Florida harassed Vandy into 19 turnovers, though, and snagged 18 offensive boards, which allowed the Gators to take 26 more shots than the Commodores.

Had they made one more at any point, they would have won.