The Florida Gators scored mostly in brief spurts, struggled to defend competently for pivotal stretches, and failed to shut down their foe down the stretch on Wednesday.
Also, they lost — but you knew that, right?
The Gators’ 71-68 loss to Vanderbilt had all the hallmarks of their worst losses this year.
Not enough three-point shooting? Check. The Gators were just 7-for-19 on the night, and while that’s not “bad” for most teams, and is actually reflective of a good percentage, it was fatal for the Gators, so dependent on getting points from distance — especially given that Egor Koulechov and KeVaughn Allen missed good looks at game-tying threes in the final seconds.
Woeful interior defense? Yup. Florida couldn’t stop Riley LaChance or Jeff Roberson from driving to the cup late in the second half, and they combined for 47 points on just 23 shots, going 17-for-18 from the line. (The perimeter defense was horrid, too: Vandy made nine of its 22 threes, with 25 percent shooter Joe Toye making three of his six on the day.)
A miserable stretch of poor offense? Yeah, I guess — but this one wasn’t that long. The problem was that Florida scored just two points in the final 3:44 of play, which contributed to letting a 11-point second-half lead evaporate — for the second straight game.
You could be forgiven for forgetting or not caring at all that Florida got 20 points from Keith Stone — who disappeared from the floor down the stretch despite being Florida’s most efficient scorer on the night, failing to score during the final 13:47 of play — and that Allen, Chris Chiozza, and Jalen Hudson combined for 23 points on 32 shots.
Florida would do well to forget this game, too.
And the Gators would also do well to just stop doing this.