UT 75, Florida 70: Cuonzo Martin told Vols they could win in Gainesville

Martin told team it could win in Gainesville

Florida's  Erving Walker (11) has to reach out to get around Tennessee's Kenny Hall (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

Florida's Erving Walker (11) has to reach out to get around Tennessee's Kenny Hall (20) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

Tennessee's Kenny Hall (20) goes over Florida's Casey Prather (24) for two points during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. Tennessee defeated Florida 75-70. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

Photo by Phil Sandlin/Associated Press

Tennessee's Kenny Hall (20) goes over Florida's Casey Prather (24) for two points during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. Tennessee defeated Florida 75-70. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

Trae Golden on Florida win

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Tennessee won its first road game of the season, and the Vols did so in decisive fashion over No. 8-ranked Florida.

UT (13-12, 5-5 SEC) scored a 75-70 men's basketball victory against Florida (19-6, 7-3) before a sellout crowd of 12,249 at the O'Connell Center on Saturday afternoon to sweep the season series with the Gators.

While the outcome surprised many — Florida was favored by 12½ points and had won 19 straight at home — Vols coach Cuonzo Martin saw it coming.

Martin said Friday he liked his team's chance of winning, and he told his players the same thing hours before the tip.

"I told the guys this morning, today's the first time we're really ready to win a road game," said Martin, who has won two of his past three games against top-25 teams. "I told them we had the necessary pieces and the right mind-set."

Tennessee, previously 0-7 on the road, used a 17-4 run in the first half to take a 12-point lead. Florida didn't get closer than nine points until the final 30 seconds.

Trae Golden scored 17 points and had seven assists, Jeronne Maymon scored 15 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Skylar McBee had 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting and Jordan McRae added 12 points and tied his career high with six rebounds.

The Vols held a 41-30 lead at intermission after going up by as many as 17 at the 2:27 mark of the first half on a Maymon bucket that made it 39-22.

Florida's last lead was at 8-7, before Jarnell Stokes' steal led to a Golden basket at the 14:14 mark and ignited the pivotal 17-4 run that gave UT the lead for good.

Gators sixth man Will Yeguete, a defensive and rebounding specialist, suffered a concussion on the play and didn't return to action.

McRae capped the Vols' scoring burst with a free throw that made it 24-12 at the 10-minute mark of the opening half.

It was Stokes' first action since suffering a sprained wrist in last Tuesday's practice. He scored four points and had two rebounds in 11 minutes after sitting out Wednesday's 69-57 home win over South Carolina.

Stokes, who made an official visit to Florida and considered signing with the Gators before choosing the Vols in December, said he didn't feel any pain.

"Once the adrenaline is going, you really don't feel it," Stokes said. "The only thing is it has limited my practice time a little bit."

Martin would have preferred to not play him.

"I would have wanted to keep him out, but he was hungry to play," Martin said. "The hand is tender."

As it turned out, so was the Gators' psyche after they suffered a 78-58 defeat at the hands of No. 1 Kentucky on Tuesday night at Rupp Arena.

While the Vols shot 48 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, Florida was held to 42.6-percent shooting and finished 11-of-30 (36.7 percent) from three.

UT's defense was in lock-down mode down the stretch, holding the Gators without a point for eight consecutive possessions after Florida had drawn within 10 with 12 minutes left on an Erik Murphy basket. Florida didn't get another field goal until there was 4:45 left when Patric Young scored to cut UT's lead to 62-50.

The Vols went 9-of-13 shooting from the free-throw line in the final 2½ minutes to seal it. Tennessee also beat the Gators 67-56 in Knoxville on Jan. 7 in both teams' SEC opener.

"It was a great effort from our guys start to finish," Martin said. "On offense we moved the ball, ran the motion well, guys were cutting and screening and we got the ball inside. Defensively, we played hard."

Florida coach Billy Donovan, whose team got 16 points apiece from Kenny Boynton and Bradley Beal, indicated the Vols were the tougher team.

"We went up against a team tonight that was veteran, experienced, deep and hardened, and that part of us got exposed," Donovan said. "We could never get down the lane against them, and they got down the lane against us the whole entire time."

UT returns to action at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena against Arkansas. The Razorbacks (17-8, 5-5) defeated South Carolina (9-15, 1-9) in Fayetteville on Saturday, 76-65.

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32

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Comments » 196

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

Where are you Gator trolls ?????

LSG410EC83 writes:

OK B2R, 8letterwhatever, the bodeanevol(whichever is the troll) and all the other losers, what have you got to say about our VOLS. What a game. A sweep over Florida. Cant get much better than this. Just a sign of things to come. Way to go guys. IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL. GO BIG ORANGE.

TopTenn writes:

GBO! That is all.

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

I love it when Bert Bertelkamp said with about 4 minutes left... "the fans are leaving like they're giving money away outside".

kdaff51 writes:

I think the TNBB program is in good hands!

FWBVol writes:

This team is starting to come together nicely. I know it's a long shot, but we still have a shot at the NCAA tournament with a strong finish. It is great to be a Tennessee Vol!

NewMarketVol writes:

Great win Mr. Martin keep up the good work!!!

GerryOP writes:

Get the broom! Lil' Billy D goes down to the Vols ... again!

Snapshot writes:

Wonder if we will hear from the haters who have said how C. Martin can't coach and what a terrible hire he was. You know who you are.

samvol writes:

GoVols.....GoZo......

imw8n4u writes:

We can't have a big enough lead going into the final 3 minutes for me to be comfortable. Seems like every time the other team just starts chucking up the 3's, they always go in. Good win, but man are they stressful to watch.

LSG410EC83 writes:

in response to ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER:

Where are you Gator trolls ?????

They will not be on here for a while. Once again, what a game. The team played as a team. If they keep this up, could win out. Just need to take one game at a time. Have ran out of words. Proud of our Vols.

richvol writes:

Great win...the Vols are rounding into a pretty good squad as they have now won 5 of the last 6. For those of you that have complained about Coach Martin...you can take a flying ****.

FLVOL_79 writes:

LOL..mop mop mop all season long mop mop mop till th gatards gone.

VandyisGold writes:

What incredible defense. Rest of year should be interesting. I think KY beats us at home tonight.

VolunteerLifer writes:

Martin's coaching is starting to pay off. This might be a watershed victory for his program. Sounds like a huge game from Trae And the other guards, as well as the dependable one, Jeronne Maymon. A fantastic win.

Way to go Volunteers!!!!

LSG410EC83 writes:

in response to richvol:

Great win...the Vols are rounding into a pretty good squad as they have now won 5 of the last 6. For those of you that have complained about Coach Martin...you can take a flying ****.

I'll 2nd that.

reg_mza#219136 writes:

Congrats guys! You played hard, focused, and more importantly played together. You're coming together well. On a sad note however, you guys are performing like the complete antithesis of the Lady Vols right now. As refreshing as I find it, still sad. Enough of that...congrats and keep it up.

BleednUrnge81 writes:

i thought it was funny when they were yellin airbal at mcrae or hall, couldnt member which , and they were down by 14 lol. Gator fans are such arrogant arses. GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!

volpreacher writes:

in response to ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER:

I love it when Bert Bertelkamp said with about 4 minutes left... "the fans are leaving like they're giving money away outside".

And during football the UF trolls came on here talking about bomb scare at Neyland? lol Go vols!

johnlg00 writes:

Great work by Golden today. Maymon was his usual monstrous self. McRae and Hall are completely different players than they were earlier in the season. McBee CAN hit on the road and played a solid all-around game. Great game plan by CCM and the Vols followed the script all the way through this time. They may have too much ground to make up to get to the Big Dance, but if they can keep this kind of play going, they will be the story of the year--after UK, maybe, but we'll see after they play Vandy tonight--in the SEC, and maybe even in the country. Very proud of all the guys today; just remember how you did this and KEEP DOING IT! GBO!!! HBTV!!! GREAT JOB, ZO!!!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER:

Where are you Gator trolls ?????

They'll be back but at least not for a couple of days

Razzle writes:

Great win! C. Martin you tha man.

bosscat writes:

An indication of the Vols' maturity and poise was shown when Jarnell tried to shake the UF player's hand after a hard foul. An indication of UF's lack of poise was shown when the Florida player pushed him away. Another indication of the Vols' maturity was when Maymon was called for walking, he put the ball on the floor and went back to play D. CCM has taught more than hard D to these players.

wigmeister writes:

CCM and the players are beginning to gel. Great game guys!

LSG410EC83 writes:

in response to BleednUrnge81:

i thought it was funny when they were yellin airbal at mcrae or hall, couldnt member which , and they were down by 14 lol. Gator fans are such arrogant arses. GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!

If I remember, he sunk both of the free throws. I guess this and telling Hall to sit down when fouling out was the only joy they had though. Will take an airball anytime as long as it ends up with a win.

volcycle writes:

in response to VandyisGold:

What incredible defense. Rest of year should be interesting. I think KY beats us at home tonight.

I disagree. Vandy is too smart and experienced to lose to this young Kentucky team. KY usually overwhelms opponents with talent. Vandy will match up well with them, play with experience, and play smart. Kentucky loses...

royalblue writes:

Thanks!!! That will make our loss at Vandy tonight a little easier to bear. I'm posting two hours before tip-off. Congrats on a great win for UT.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to imw8n4u:

We can't have a big enough lead going into the final 3 minutes for me to be comfortable. Seems like every time the other team just starts chucking up the 3's, they always go in. Good win, but man are they stressful to watch.

I know what you mean! As dominant as they were most of the way, at least five missed layups, at least two missed front-ends of one-and-ones, and at least two charges in driving situations, all in the second half, prevented the Vols from winning by about 20, so complete was their domination otherwise.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to Snapshot:

Wonder if we will hear from the haters who have said how C. Martin can't coach and what a terrible hire he was. You know who you are.

the haters will not show up after a great win but they will appear after the next loss

great win------I like the Pearl personality/charisma but wasnt sold on his Xs and Os coaching. No Pearl team plays as good a D and tougher than what C. Martin has brought and likewise Martin has us working some offensive plays and schemes unlike offenses of the past of just jacking up 30+ 3s a game of streetball play.

I like what we have here with this Coach Martin---- not flashy or with exhuberant personality but thats unimportant, hes getting the job done on the court and this team is getting better and playing as a unit and should finish much better than projected preseason

Great win -- the usual haters will disappear for this one to not acknowlege it

devo-evol writes:

yes, martin owns donavan. any comment giselle

CoverOrange writes:

in response to LSG410EC83:

OK B2R, 8letterwhatever, the bodeanevol(whichever is the troll) and all the other losers, what have you got to say about our VOLS. What a game. A sweep over Florida. Cant get much better than this. Just a sign of things to come. Way to go guys. IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL. GO BIG ORANGE.

8letters (aka Griff) will be along later to mention how the arena was full and the crowd loud unlike TBA.

VolnTex writes:

"Fire Martin. He's in over his head."

Since someone usually posts that after every story about TN basketball, I thought I would go ahead and get it out of the way.

etu_vol_fan writes:

in response to Snapshot:

Wonder if we will hear from the haters who have said how C. Martin can't coach and what a terrible hire he was. You know who you are.

That crow is tasting pretty good now. I admit that I was one of the ones last March that wondered if this was a good hire or not. They are playing good defense and fighting. My hats off to them.

LSG410EC83 writes:

in response to LSG410EC83:

If I remember, he sunk both of the free throws. I guess this and telling Hall to sit down when fouling out was the only joy they had though. Will take an airball anytime as long as it ends up with a win.

Sorry, it was not Hall, it was McRae. Oh well, still so excited about the win hard to concentrate. Was great to see 4 of our guys in double figures on scoring and also have as many assist as they did. Also, they were as hungry for second chance points as I have seen all year. Just an all around great game. As have said for many, many years,IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL. GO BIG ORANGE AND GO BIG ZO.

jimr07 writes:

in response to volcycle:

I disagree. Vandy is too smart and experienced to lose to this young Kentucky team. KY usually overwhelms opponents with talent. Vandy will match up well with them, play with experience, and play smart. Kentucky loses...

And, how does your comment relate to the Fla_Tenn. game?

GerryOP writes:

And from ESPN -- "It didn't help that the Gators played most of the game without their top two reserves, guard Mike Rosario and forward Will Yeguete. Forward Cody Larson also was out because of a stomach virus."

I knew there had to be some reason we won -- besides simply playing great bball.

1vavolfan writes:

The ESPN headline reads "Vols beat short-handed Gators", what a crock. Rosario, Yeguette, and Lawson only average a combined 14 ppg. Nice win, NIT a real possibility if we can go 8-8 in the conference and win a game in the SEC tourney.

devo-evol writes:

finally they took care of the ball especially golden, only 2 turnovers. he is starting to play like a point guard and it has been a huge difference. i was glad to finally see some movement in the offense instead of standing around like they do way too much of. team effort they are definitely beginning to play well as a team and spreading the scoring around.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

First. a word to our obnoxious trolls..Bodeane, SEC1 , whatever:

1. Except for a 2-0 Gator lead, it was a wire
to wire performance on the shores of Lake
Alice.
2. After looking, found it was hard to see the
silly Gator Chops.

3. Kiss the undefeated home record good bye.

4. Will you pack way the 'cool' new unifroms?

Aside from my message to the troll-aid drinkers,
Vols...........let's enjoy a nice performance over the 'invincible' Gators on their hardwood.

This just shows people what Martin can and will do at Tennessee. Aside from a little flurry of meaningless 3's at the end.........it was a complete whipping.

Priceless.

LSG410EC83 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

8letters (aka Griff) will be along later to mention how the arena was full and the crowd loud unlike TBA.

Only problem with the noise of the crowd was that there was none except for screaming airball and sit down. The loudest noise I heard was the stampede heading for the doors.lol I usually dont post too much, guess I am full of myself tonight. Just so proud of the Vols. Look forward to the drive this coming Wednesday. I say celebrate tonight, then get down to business for the next game.

Stooley_Dinks writes:

Those 2 cheap losses to GA and Austin Peay REALLY sting right now. If the team can consistently play anywhere close to the way they did today, the Vols have a legimate shot of winning all 6 remaining games.

Unfortunately, that 100+ RPI and 12 losses may require a tourney championship to get in.

I would like to see them make the tournament, but if they can play like they did today, I can live with the NIT.

huntined#565710 writes:

The best thing about this win is I was expecting a BIG LOSS. How do you beat FLA twice and lose to Austin P. I have a rough time with that but that win today was GREAT!!!!

FLVOL_79 writes:

best part...Uftard was celebrating their back to back championships, aka "we got super lucky while still being owned by UT" years.

VolAtUGA11 writes:

in response to yabadabadoo1026:

the haters will not show up after a great win but they will appear after the next loss

great win------I like the Pearl personality/charisma but wasnt sold on his Xs and Os coaching. No Pearl team plays as good a D and tougher than what C. Martin has brought and likewise Martin has us working some offensive plays and schemes unlike offenses of the past of just jacking up 30+ 3s a game of streetball play.

I like what we have here with this Coach Martin---- not flashy or with exhuberant personality but thats unimportant, hes getting the job done on the court and this team is getting better and playing as a unit and should finish much better than projected preseason

Great win -- the usual haters will disappear for this one to not acknowlege it

Couldn't agree more. We're fortunate to have Martin at UT. He took a chance with a program that wasn't in great shape, having to replace such a popular coach in Pearl. Now it's starting to pay off. Good program, great man.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to LSG410EC83:

Sorry, it was not Hall, it was McRae. Oh well, still so excited about the win hard to concentrate. Was great to see 4 of our guys in double figures on scoring and also have as many assist as they did. Also, they were as hungry for second chance points as I have seen all year. Just an all around great game. As have said for many, many years,IT IS GREAT TO BE A TENNESSEE VOL. GO BIG ORANGE AND GO BIG ZO.

They gave Hall the same treatment. The fact that two Vols fouled out was about all the satisfaction they had today. What you said in all caps, for sure!!!

VolnTex writes:

I don't want to jinx the team, but looking at the rest of the schedule there's no reason the Vols can't win the rest. That would make for 19 wins in the regular season.

LSG410EC83 writes:

in response to Bodeanvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Glad I spelled the troll Bodeanevols correctly. If I ever get the letter mixed up. please forgive me.

tennrich1 writes:

Okay, I'll say it...Thank you Mike Hamilton for hiring Coach Martin...I believe you DID know what you were doing....

Vol43 writes:

in response to ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER:

Where are you Gator trolls ?????

Come out, come out wherever you are. Here gator, gator, gator.

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