Won’t Back Down

Liam Robbins’ double-double helps lead Dores to win in Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Behind a 32-point, 10-rebound effort from Liam Robbins, Vanderbilt men’s basketball picked up its third win in a row with an 88-80 defeat of Florida at Exactech Arena on Saturday.

Following up on Wednesday night’s buzzer-beating victory over nationally-ranked Tennessee, the Commodores moved to 6-6 in the SEC and 13-12 overall as Robbins recorded a career-high scoring total as well as his first double-double of the season. The fifth-year senior finished 10 of 18 from the floor and 9 of 11 at the free-throw line, adding four blocks as well.

Trey Thomas chipped in with 16 points for the Dores, who also got 11 points and eight assists from Ezra Manjon and 10 points from Jordan Wright.

The Dores led by as many as eight points in the first half as Robbins posted 17 points, but Florida was able to cut the deficit to one, 42-41, at the break on a layup from Riley Kugel at the buzzer. The game remained a tight affair well past the midway point of the second half until a 10-2 Vandy run made the score 78-69 with just under three minutes left to play.

The Commodores limited the Gators to just one field goal during that three-and-a-half-minute stretch, holding Florida to 41.9 percent shooting from the floor in the second half. Vanderbilt connected on 12 3-point field goals while limiting the Gators to 2 of 20 shooting from beyond the arc to overcome a 58-26 scoring deficit in the paint.

Colin Castleton led the Gators (13-12, 6-6 SEC) with 25 points and 11 rebounds, and Kugel scored 18 points also. Kowacie Reeves and Kyle Lofton also recorded double-digit points totals for Florida with 14 and 12, respectively.

Vanderbilt’s next game is on the road as well, with the Commodores scheduled to visit South Carolina Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. CT.