Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 2/28/12
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- John Jenkins hit six 3-pointers and finished with 22 points, and Vanderbilt beat No. 16 Florida 77-67 on Tuesday night to clinch a first-round bye in the Southeastern Conference tournament. The Commodores (21-9, 10-5) outshot the nation's top 3-point shooting team behind Jenkins, and he easily topped his average of 3.9 3-pointers by hitting his first five from beyond the arc. They are tied with Florida for second in the SEC with one game left in the regular season. Vanderbilt, which snapped a four-game losing streak to the Gators, can finish no worse than third in the SEC going into its finale Saturday at Tennessee. Jeffery Taylor added 18 points and Festus Ezeli had 11. Bradley Beal scored 16 points, Erving Walker 15, Kenny Boynton 11 for Florida (22-8, 10-5), which has lost two straight. The Gators still can finish second by themselves if they beat No. 1 Kentucky at home on Sunday. The Commodores got off to an emotional start minutes after honoring seven seniors, four of them starters including Taylor and Ezeli, whose parents made the 20-hour flight from Nigeria to watch. They led for the first 30 minutes until Casey Prather dunked on a fast break to give the Gators their first lead of the game, 50-49 with 10:32 left. The teams swapped the lead on the next five possessions, and Florida last led on a 3-pointer by Erik Murphy. Taylor answered with a 3 from the left corner with 9:48 left, and Vanderbilt never trailed again even though the Gators didn't go away easily. They twice got within a point, the last time on a 3-pointer by Beal with 5:41 left. Taylor hit his fourth 3, then Vandy made 12 of 14 at the free throw line over the final 5:04. Florida hurt Vanderbilt over and over with its press, forcing 12 turnovers the Gators turned into 17 points to keep the Commodores from running away from them. But the Commodores, who attempted only three free throws in the first half, did a better job of driving to the basket in the second and wound up outshooting Florida at the line 19 of 26 to 7 of 11. They opened by hitting their first three shots and seemed ready to rout Florida in front of a sold-out crowd at Memorial Gym in taking a 10-2 lead. Florida missed five of its first six shots, including its first three attempts beyond the arc. By the time Jenkins, the SEC's leading scorer, hit his first basket, a 3, and Ezeli added a layup, Vanderbilt had its biggest lead yet at 19-7 with 10:55 left. Then the Commodores went cold, something they have struggled with this season, and this drought lasted nearly 5 minutes. Kedren Johnson hit a 3-pointer just before the shot clock expired with coach Kevin Stallings stomping his foot on the other end for a 22-14 lead with 5:58 left. The Gators managed to tie it at 27 on Scottie Wilbekin's 3 only to watch Taylor answer with a 3 for a 30-27 halftime lead.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Everson Griffen asks for help naming son after sack

Manny Pacquiao trying to bait Conor McGregor into fighting him

Chad Johnson blasts Cowboys for poor playcalling in Twitter rant

Watch Chargers punter Drew Kaser somehow miss kicking net on practice attempt

Marvin Jones makes amazing catch in between Vikings defenders

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lions' Matthew Stafford suffers ankle injury on TD pass

Report: Chip Kelly could make decision by Sunday

Lane Kiffin reportedly would be open to Tennessee return

Jay Cutler reportedly throws passes in practice

Stefon Diggs shows off Eminem-themed cleats for Thanksgiving game in Detroit

Joel Embiid: I'm ‘the best defensive player in the league’

Biggest sports turkeys of 2017

The 'Getting a leg up on the competition' quiz

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

Raiders' fall from grace shows there's more work to be done

NFL Week 12 predictions

College football Week 13 predictions

The '303 yards and a cloud of dust' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Kyrie Irving has unlimited range

Anthony Davis may never escape his biggest flaw

The 'Greatest show on flat Earth' quiz

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

Young Maple Leafs maturing their way to the NHL elite

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Getting a leg up on the competition' quiz

What each NFL team should be grateful for this Thanksgiving

Raiders' fall from grace shows there's more work to be done

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Kyrie Irving has unlimited range

The '303 yards and a cloud of dust' quiz

Anthony Davis may never escape his biggest flaw

NFL Week 12 predictions

NFL MVP Watch: Carson Wentz stands tall among the pack

The 'Greatest show on flat Earth' quiz

Young Maple Leafs maturing their way to the NHL elite

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker