NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Florida men’s coach Billy Donovan knows his newly top-ranked Gators are an even bigger target for opponents. But they keep finding ways to finish off victories.
Dorian Finney-Smith scored 19 points and Florida, playing its first game at No. 1 this season, held off Vanderbilt 57-54 on Tuesday night to clinch at least a share of its second straight Southeastern Conference title.
The Gators (26-2 overall, 15-0 SEC) are 13-2 in games decided by single digits after losing all six last season, and Donovan said his team’s margin for error is slim.
“I think sometimes when you see a team with a high ranking you think dominance, you think they just blow everybody out,” Donovan said. “That’s not what we are or who we are.”
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Kyle Fuller missed a tying three in the final seconds for the Commodores (15-12, 7-8) and Dai-Jon Parker missed a putback attempt.
Other Top 10 men
No. 2 Wichita State 69, at Bradley 49
Ron Baker scored 15 points to lead four Wichita State players in double figures and the Shockers (30-0, 17-0 Missouri Valley) beat the Braves (12-18, 7-10).
Wichita State became the first Division I men’s team to reach 30-0 in the regular season.
Wichita State is the 11th team to get to 30-0, the previous 10 hitting the 30-victory mark during postseason play.
At No. 6 Duke 66, Virginia Tech 48
Rodney Hood scored 21 points and Rasheed Sulaimon added 15 as the Blue Devils (23-6, 12-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) cruised past the last-place Hokies (9-18, 2-13).
Top 5 women
No. 1 Connecticut 81, at SMU 48
Bria Hartley scored 25 points, Breanna Stewart added 23 and the defending national champion Huskies (29-0, 16-0 American Athletic) beat the Mustangs (16-11, 7-9) to extend their winning streak to 35 games.