College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, February 25, 2014
As so often happens in the world of college hoops, the Florida Gators, just a day after being ranked #1 in the national polls, had to prove it against a determined opponent.
In a close, 57-54, win at Vanderbilt, sophomore Dorian Finney-Smith came off the bench to lead the team with 19 points, hitting a key three-pointer with 33 seconds left to seal the victory. The shot came off a pass from Scottie Wilbiken, who had five assists, and put the Gators up by five.
Vanderbilt scored on a layup with 19 seconds remaining, but the Gator defenders wouldn't allow the Commodores a good shot after Wilbiken missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Smith also had nine rebounds to go with his three treys and overall shooting of 6-for-11. Patrick Young was the only other Gator in double figures, with 12 points. Florida shot just 40% but clinched at least a tie for the SEC title with a 15-0 conference mark.
The win was the 20th consecutive for Florida. At 26-2, their last defeat was on December 2nd, when UConn defeated them at the buzzer, 65-64. The only other Gator loss was at Wisconsin, 59-53, in their second game of the season.