UF Tops Vandy

Posted Jan 23, 2003

Sophomore center David Lee scored a career-high 22 points to lead the No. 5 University of Florida men's basketball team (16-2, 5-0 SEC) to a 87-75 victory over Vanderbilt (8-8, 1-4 SEC) Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 11,670 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

"I was happy with our guys and how they competed and played," head coach Billy Donovan said. "I think David Lee did a terrific job up front tonight defensively and offensively. He made us difficult to guard."

Lee finished the night with his fourth career double-double. He shot 9-of-11 from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds in 28 minutes of action. Lee also held Vanderbilt center Brian Thornton to only four points.

"I think that in this game I concentrated on [Brian] Thornton being a bigger guy," Lee said. "I tried to wear him out on the defensive end by running each time. Even if I didn't get the ball, I just tried to run the floor and make him run back on defense."

Freshman guard Anthony Roberson shot 4-of-5 from three point range, scoring 20 points for the Gators. Roberson has now scored over 20 points in six games, and has hit 14 of his last 25 three point baskets (.560).

In the first half, Florida put 51 points up on the board with three Gators finishing the half in double figures. That marked the first time the Gators have scored 50 or more points in a half of an SEC game since last season against Georgia on Feb. 12, 2002. Florida shot 61.3 percent from the field (19-of-31), including 6-of-11 from behind the three point line. Lee finished the half 6-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from three point range.

During the first five minutes of the second half Florida went on an 11-3 run. The Gators were up by as much as 21 at the 11:22 and 10:01 marks. The Commodores closed the game to within eight points three separate times. Florida was held scoreless from the field from the 10:01 mark to just under a minute when Roberson made a layup to put the Gators up by 10.

Two other Gators scored in double figures as senior guard Brett Nelson had a season high 14 points and freshman forward Matt Walsh added 13.

Vanderbilt was led by forward Matt Freije who scored 21 points on 5-of-7 shooting from behind the three point arc. Commodores guard Jason Holwerda also added 17 points, shooting 7-of-9 from the field.

With the win, Florida now holds a 12-game win streak. The Gators 16-2 overall record is the best start in school history and the perfect 5-0 start in SEC play matches the best SEC start in school history.

The Gators will be back in action Tuesday, Jan. 28 as they travel to Baton Rouge, La. to take on LSU at 9 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

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