Vanderbilt held Florida without a field goal for the final 9:53 and Jermaine Beal put things out of reach when he made two free throws with 6.2 seconds to play as the 13th-ranked Commodores rallied for a 64-60 victory at Florida on Tuesday.
It was their first victory at the O’Connell Center in nine years. It also was their 12th conference victory of the season, which is the most since the 1992-93 team went 14-2. But it didn't come easy.
Vanderbilt was in front for the entire first half, leading by as many as 12 points, but the Gators fought back to cut the Commodores' halftime lead to three. Eventually, Florida built a five-point lead halfway into the second half, before Vanderbilt tightened the clamps defensively.
A.J. Ogilvy gave Vanderbilt (23-6, 12-3) the lead for the final time (62-60) when he scored on a tip-in of his own missed shot with 2:24 remaining.
Freshman John Jenkins tied his career-high with six 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 18 points. His final three came in a span of 2:18 late in the second half. The last put the Commodores ahead 60-59 with 3:08 left.
Ogilvy finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and four steals, and Beal added 13 points and six assists.
Vanderbilt, which leads the conference in free throw attempts, got to the foul line just eight times and made six, capped by Beal’s two.
Florida (20-10, 9-6) led 51-48 on Vernon Macklin’s layup with 9:53 to go when its offense stalled. The Gators’ remaining nine points all came on free throws, the last when Macklin made one of two and tied it 60-60 with 2:48 left.
Macklin led all scorers with 21 points.