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Vanderbilt snaps four-game losing streak in upset of No. 19 Florida

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Vanderbilt snapped a four-game losing streak by using a strong second half to take down No. 21 Florida, 68-66, on Saturday afternoon in the SEC.

The Commodores (9-10, 3-4) shot 46 percent from the field and nailed 10 three-pointers as Matthew Fisher-Davis led four double-figure scorers with 19 points. For a young team with a new coach in Bryce Drew, this is a solid victory that he can build off of as his team did a great job of executing offense down the stretch.

This is a bad loss at home for No. 19 Florida (14-5, 5-2) and doesn’t help the weak national reputation of the SEC. Sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen lit it up for 29 points for the Gators but Devin Robinson (12 points) was the only other Florida player who finished with double-figures.

As we’ve seen from the Gators the past three seasons, they’re incredibly inconsistent and they have a tendency to show up flat at inopportune times. A lot of that falls on the lack of quality point guard play and the lack of development from former McDonald’s All-American Kasey Hill. Hill isn’t the only Florida player who needs to step up for them to maximize their potential, but this is his final stretch of college ball after an underwhelming career.

Right now, Florida is in position to break a two-year NCAA tournament drought, but losses like this can’t happen again at home if the Gators want to get back in the field.

Florida freshman will miss the season with stress fracture

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Florida freshman forward Dontay Bassett is out for the season with a stress fracture, according to a release from the school.

Bassett will require surgery in his right foot and his projected recovery time will be four-to-six months. The injury will force Bassett to redshirt the 2016-17 season.

A three-star recruit coming out of Oldsmar Christian in Florida, the 6-foot-9 forward wasn’t expected to be a big contributor during his first year with the Gators, but his loss does hurt some of the team’s frontcourt depth. With John Egbunu, Devin Robinson, Justin Leon and Kevarrius Hayes all returning, the Gators should have plenty of players to use in the frontcourt this season without Bassett.

Once Bassett is healthy and able to play next season he showed good athleticism and an ability to hit the glass hard while he was in high school. Bassett should be able to join Florida’s rotation as an energy defender and rebounder right away.

Florida loses important four-star commitment

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Florida lost an important commitment on Monday as four-star guard Shai Alexander decommitted from the Gators, according to multiple reports.

The 6-foot-4 point guard is opening things up but still keeping Florida in the picture, according to Scout.com’s Brian Snow and Alexander’s decommitment is a major blow for the Gators. Regarded as the No. 53 overall prospect in the national Class of 2017, Alexander was the highest-ranked Florida commitment since Devin Robinson in the Class of 2014 — and the best in Mike White’s Florida career.

Alexander opening things up is going to be interesting since so many teams are looking for ball handlers who can make plays. Florida is obviously going to want Alexander to be part of its recruiting class but other big programs could get in the picture with so many other guards already being off the board.

Florida gets commitment from Class of 2017 forward Chase Johnson

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Florida picked up its third commitment in the Class of 2017 on Monday as forward Chase Johnson pledged to the Gators.

The 6-foot-7 Johnson is a native of West Virginia as he become a high-major recruit after a strong spring and summer on the grassroots circuit. Johnson is a solid scorer who will need to improve his perimeter shooting and defense as he prepares for the next level. Attending Huntington Prep for his senior season should help Johnson’s game since he’ll be playing against good competition.

Johnson joins four-star guard Shai Alexander and three-star forward DeAundre Ballard in the Florida Class of 2017 recruiting efforts.

VIDEO: 2017 power forward Isaiah Stokes shatters backboard

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As the younger brother of former Tennessee power forward Jarnell Stokes, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 2017 power forward Isaiah Stokes plays with similar authority. At one point a dual-sport athlete with football also getting attention, the younger Stokes has decided to focus on basketball with a host of high major programs looking to land his commitment. And Thursday afternoon at the adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas, Stokes displayed the strength and power he’s been known for.

Late in the M33M Elite program’s win over the Iowa Barnstormers, Stokes threw down a two-handed dunk that shattered the backboard and can be seen above. Stokes fell onto the chards of glass that accumulated under the basket, and he needed three stitches to close up a wound on his left pinky finger. Stokes told ESPN.com that while he had intentions of breaking the backboard, he “didn’t think I’d be able to do it.”

Games on that court were delayed for a couple hours due to the clean-up process and the need to bring in a replacement basket. According to ESPN.com Stokes is down to five schools: Memphis, Tennessee, Florida, Iowa State and South Carolina.

No. 17 Texas A&M pulls away from Florida 72-66 in SEC

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Jalen Jones made a go-ahead layup with 2:08 remaining and Alex Caruso followed with a steal and a layup 13 seconds later to key a late 7-0 run that pushed No. 17 Texas A&M past Florida 72-66 on Friday in the quarterfinals of Southeastern Conference Tournament.

Playing for the first time as the tournament’s top seed, the Aggies (25-7) needed everything to break free of a Florida team that stayed with them throughout a tight game featuring 11 ties and eight lead changes.

Danuel House followed those two quick baskets with a 3-pointer with 1:02 left to provide some more room, and Admon Gilder’s two free throws with 22.8 seconds left sealed the Aggies’ seventh straight win. Caruso added two more foul shots six seconds later.

House and Tyler Davis each scored 15 points for Texas A&M, which will face the Tennessee-LSU winner in Saturday’s semifinal. Jones finished with 13 points.

Kasey Hill’s 18 points led five players in double figures for eighth-seeded Florida (19-14).

Dorian Finney-Smith and John Egbunu each added 11 points for Florida, but Egbunu fouled out with just under three minutes left. Texas A&M then made several plays in the closing minutes to seal the back-and-forth game.

A day after dispatching Arkansas, Florida wondered whether it could win another game to help solidify its NCAA Tournament resume. The Gators gave it a run for a while, trading baskets and leads with the Aggies up to the 2:24 mark as Hill made two free throws to tie the game at 61.

Then came the final swing for Texas A&M as it closed the game on a 11-5 spurt.

First came Jones’ glide to the hoop, one of several athletic plays by the Aggies. Caruso followed by picking off a pass and racing down the court for another easy basket.

House’s long-range jumper provided the exclamation point, though it came down to Gilder’s free throws to make it final.

Both teams shot 39 percent, but the Aggies came away with a key win in their quest to win the tournament title.

House in particular thrived, despite 1-of-6 shooting from outside, making up for it with several quick moves including a baseline drive for a dunk. Davis, with eight rebounds, helped the Aggies stay even on the boards.

The Aggies’ problem was breaking free of a Florida squad that matched the same quick tempo and made more baskets. Allen and Finney-Smith combined for 16 points and got scoring help from other Gators who also chipped in on the boards.

——

TIP-INS

Florida: Devin Robinson and Kevaughn Allen each had 10 points for the Gators, who outrebounded the Aggies 45-43.

Texas A&M: The Aggies entered the game having won their last six by an average margin of 10.1 points.

UP NEXT

Florida: Awaiting postseason announcement.

Texas A&M: Faces Tennessee-LSU winner in Saturday’s semifinal.