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Vols battle past Florida, 65-54, on senior day

Tennessee was led in scoring by senior John Fulkerson with 14 points
Mar 7, 2021; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers forward John Fulkerson (10) and...
Mar 7, 2021; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers forward John Fulkerson (10) and guard Yves Pons (35) are recognized on senior day before the game against the Florida Gators at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports(Randy Sartin | Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports)
Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 11:57 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A balanced offensive effort and a momentum-shifting second half run propelled the Tennessee basketball team past Florida, 65-54, on senior day inside Thompson-Boling Arena.

The Vols (17-7, 10-7) punished the Gators (13-8, 9-7) on the boards, outrebounding Florida 38-29 overall and 18-9 on the offensive glass.

Every Vol to record more than two minutes of playing time scored at least four points, with three scoring 14.

Tennessee was led in scoring by senior John Fulkerson who scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting, pulled in seven rebounds and dished out four assists with no turnovers.

Junior Victor Bailey Jr. was the second of three Vols to drop in 14 points, with eight coming in the second half.

Freshman standout Keon Johnson also finished with 14 points, scoring 10 in the second half and recording a pair of steals on the defensive end.

The programs went bucket for bucket in the early stages of the opening half, with Florida holding a slim 18-15 lead at the mid-way point of the period.

The Gators opened things up with a 15-5 run to take a 33-20 lead with just under four minutes remaining.

The Vols responded with an 8-0 run of their own to close the opening half, to cut the deficit to 33-28 heading into the locker room.

Out of the break, UT kept the momentum rolling. After the teams traded the opening few buckets of the half, the Vols used an afternoon-altering 15-2 run to take a 47-41 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining.

The Vols maintained their juice over the final stages of the afternoon, extending their lead to as many as 11, and coming in clutch at the foul line to end the regular season on a high note.

Up Next: Tennessee opens up its SEC Tournament campaign on Friday with a quarterfinal matchup against either Florida, Vanderbilt or Texas A&M. Tipoff from Nashville is slated for 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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