Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by the Associated Press and republished in its entirety below

Santiago Vescovi scored 14 points and led five volunteers in double digits Tennessee defeated Florida between 78 and 66 on Friday to qualify for a third straight tournament in the Southeastern Conference semifinals

The Volunteers (18-7) won their second straight over Florida in six days. The Vols bid farewell to the SEC quarterfinals for the first time, never falling behind sixth-placed Alabama, the SEC regular-season champion, on Friday and an 85-48 winner over the state of Mississippi, back to reach the semifinals on Saturday

Yves Pons nearly had a triple-double with 11 points, eight rebounds and nine blocked shots, joining the SEC tournament single-game record set by Andre Riddick of Kentucky in the 1993 title game. Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer each had 13 points for the Vols, and Josiah-Jordan James added 10 with nine rebounds

Tre Mann, who was 1 of 8 for two points in the first half, finished his career with 30 points for the Gators Tyree Appleby has added 14

Tennessee beat Florida 65-54 last Sunday to split the season and say goodbye to the Gators.The Vols apparently started where they left off, taking the lead from John Fulkerson Dunk 16 seconds into the game A 12-2 run with a setback from Uros Plavsic brought Tennessee 6:21 minutes ahead of 28:12

Then the Vols went cold and hit one of their last 11 shots. The Gators moved within 31-22 at halftime, with Appleby hitting a 3 at 1:14

The game got hot at 5:10 p.m. when Fulkerson had to be helped into the locker room by Omar Payne of Florida after having two elbows on the head, reruns showed Payne caught Fulkerson with a left forearm cheek in the face and then his right elbow in Fulkerson’s head-stuck officials ejected Payne after review

The Vols, who were leading 35-26 at the time, scored eight of the next 11, building the lead to 17 from Fulkerson did not return, finishing with eight points

Florida: The SEC’s best shooting team couldn’t beat the Vols as they only shot 345% (20 out of 58) compared to 46% (28 out of 60) The Gators also struggled a bit with their composure Payne was not only thrown out for the obvious foul, but they got another technician at 11:49 to leave during a media timeout

Tennessee: Pons, SEC Junior Defensive Player of the Year last season, had a career high in blocked shots while also tying the school’s half-time record at half-time The Vols had an 11-5 edge in blocked shots p>

Tennessee hasn’t won this event since 1979.But the Vols are now one win away from reaching the championship game for a third straight tournament without expecting cancellation last year.First, they have to beat Alabama, giving the Vols their first loss of the season between 71 and 63 on January brought 2 in Knoxville

Florida is now waiting to seed its NCAA tournament, which didn’t help much with a win against Vanderbilt on Thursday

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World News – USA – Tennessee basketball router Gators 78-66 in SEC quarterfinals

Source: https://gatorswire.usatoday.com/2021/03/12/tennessee-routs-gators-78-66-in-sec-quarterfinals/