Gators bite Pearl-less Vols in OT
Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 4:02 pm
By: By BETH RUCKER, AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Florida definitely did not miss Bruce Pearl on Tennessee’s sideline.
Alex Tyus scored 18 points and turned a steal into a dunk in overtime that helped Florida to an 81-75 victory over the Volunteers on Tuesday night.
It was the Gators’ third win over the Volunteers in the 11 games since Pearl took over at Tennessee in 2005 and first victory in Knoxville since Feb. 12, 2005. Pearl missed it while serving his eight-game suspension from the Southeastern Conference.
More important to Florida coach Billy Donovan is the Gators’ strong start in what is expected to be a tough season in the SEC East.
“It’s a 16-game league schedule, and certainly any win on the road is valuable,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “The most important thing for us is we are 2-0 (in SEC play).
“I think victories like this, although they are great, are short-lived.”
Tennessee scored the last four points in regulation.
A layup by Brian Williams with 1:40 left tied the game at 68, and both teams missed shots before time expired.
Cameron Tatum led Tennessee with 21 points, while Scotty Hopson had 20 and Tobias Harris 18.
Pearl is two games into the suspension handed down by the SEC after the coach acknowledged lying to NCAA investigators.
Pearl is prohibited from participating in any team activities on days of SEC games but can coach the Vols in between games.
Tennessee has lost both games under associate head coach Tony Jones’ leadership in dramatic fashion. In a 68-65 loss at Arkansas on Saturday, Harris missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer after the Vols fought back from a 13-point deficit late in the game.
“One or two or three or four games are not going to define us,” Jones said. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I fully anticipate our guys bouncing back.”