Liam Robbins bulled his way to 18 points to lead six double-figure scorers for Vanderbilt as the Commodores beat Florida 88-72 in a battle of mid-pack Southeastern Conference teams Saturday evening in Nashville, Tenn.
It was the sixth win in the last seven outings for the Commodores (16-13, 9-7 SEC), who moved into a tie with Auburn and Missouri for fifth in the conference, one game back of Tennessee.
Robbins just missed a third consecutive double-double after grabbing nine rebounds as the Commodores dominated the boards 42-31 for a 21-15 cushion in second-chance points.
Joining Robbins in double figures were Ezra Manjon (15 points), Tyrin Lawrence (13), and Colin Smith, Trey Thomas, and Myles Stute all with 11 each.
Riley Kugel scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Gators (14-15, 7-9), who dropped a third consecutive game since center Colin Castleton went down with a broken hand. Kyle Lofton also was in double figures with 15 points.
Vandy was over 50 percent from the field in each half and finished the game 31-of-60 (51.7 percent) overall and 10-of-24 on 3-pointers. Florida struggled in the first half but ended up 27-of-63 (42.9 percent) after going 14-of-30 over the final 20 minutes.
The Commodores needed less than five minutes to stretch a l0-point halftime lead to 16 points, 54-38, and maintained double-digit cushions until Kugel’s driving layup got Florida to within 67-58 with under eight minutes left in the game.
The Gators stayed within 9 to 11 points for the next four minutes before consecutive 3-pointers by Robbins and Thomas put the Commodores up 81-65 with 3:13 to play.
The Commodores were 18-of-34 (52.9) percent to Florida’s 13-of-33 (39.4) in building a 46-36 halftime lead. Vandy used a 7-0 run for a 20-12 lead early and later used a 22-13 run for its first double-digit lead, 35-25 with 6:14 left.
Vandy had five different players hit 3-pointers in the period and also had a 16-4 advantage in points in the paint.
Kugel and Lofton carried the scoring load for the Gators with 13 points each as the only players in double figures for either team in the first half.
–Field Level Media