NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Phlandrous Fleming hit a 3-pointer with six seconds to play Tuesday as Florida came back to beat Vanderbilt 82-78 in the Commodores’ regular-season home finale.
Vandy had a 78-73 lead with 44 seconds to go, but it wouldn’t score again as the Gators ended the night on a 9-0 run.
Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 29 points for Vanderbilt (14-15, 6-11 SEC). The junior also had five assists.
Vanderbilt next travels to Ole Miss (13-17, 4-13 SEC) to at 5 p.m. Saturday in the last game of the regular season.
Nursing a 70-68 lead with less than 4 1/2 minutes to go Tuesday, Pippen and Thomas, respectively, hit back-to-back triples to put Vandy up by eight and bring the faithful home crowd to their feet.
The Commodores then went more than three minutes without scoring, which let Florida cut the margin to 76-73. Pippen came to the momentary rescue with a mid-range jumper making it 78-73.
Tuongthach Gatkek got the Gators to 78-77 with 21 seconds to play. Then Vanderbilt turned the ball over two seconds later, allowing Fleming to get his game-winning shot.
Colin Castleton had 19 points and eight rebounds to lead Florida (19-11, 9-8 SEC).
Vanderbilt got off a slow start from the field and fell in an 11-3 hole as the Gators went 3-for-3 from distance in the first 3:02 of the contest. Florida’s fourth triple of the game, this one from Kowacie Reeves, put the Gators up 16-8.
Pippen and Thomas, respectively, answered with back-to-back 3s for Vanderbilt, and then Thomas hit another to give the Commodores their first lead at 17-16. Florida came right back with an 11-3 run to give itself a seven-point cushion.
Vandy trailed by two points at five different points down the final stretch of the first half, but Fleming’s buzzer-beating jumper at the break gave the Gators a 39-35 lead.
Florida shot 55.6 percent in the first half and made six 3-pointers. Vandy got 20 combined from Thomas and Pippen but was somewhat stifled by seven turnovers.
Stute briefly gave Vanderbilt a 42-41 lead less than two minutes into the second half, but Florida refused to give in and edged out ahead 49-44 on a Gatkek bucket at the 15:26 mark.
Down 54-48, Vanderbilt exploded with a 13-0 run, getting two Pippen triples, a Liam Robbins three-point play and a Thomas 3-pointer to surge ahead 61-54. Thomas extended the run with a runner in the lane giving the Commodores their biggest lead at that point at 63-54.
The Gators chomped into the lead and found themselves down 70-68 as the clock crossed the 5-minute threshold. That set up the dramatic finish.
• Pippen has scored at least 20 points in six straight games, the first Vanderbilt player to do that since Shan Foster accomplished the feat in 2008.
• Pippen Jr. has 594 points this season, tied with Saben Lee for the fourth-most in a single Vanderbilt junior season.
• Wright has started 34 straight games for Vanderbilt.
• Thomas has played in 54 straight games for the Commodores.
• Vanderbilt is now 2-11 this season when trailing at halftime, 8-2 when scoring at least 75 points and 13-7 when shooting at least 40 percent.
• The Commodores are now 71-73 all-time against the Gators and 44-20 as the home team. Florida has won nine in a row in the series.
• Attendance on Tuesday was announced as 6,558.