Lawrence's late layup lifts Vanderbilt past Florida, 79-78 in finale

Sat, Mar 9, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

Lawrence's late layup lifts Vanderbilt past Florida, 79-78 in finale

NASHVILLE (AP) - Tyrin Lawrence got to the basket for a layup with 15 seconds left and Ven-Allen Lubin sealed a 79-78 upset of Florida with a last-second steal in the regular-season finale Saturday.

Florida (21-10, 11-7 SEC) came into the game riding high following a 105-87 win over No. 16 Alabama in its home finale Tuesday. The Gators advance to the conference tournament in Nashville as the No. 6 seed with a berth in Thursday's second round. Vanderbilt (9-22, 4-14) will play a first-round tournament game Wednesday.

Florida started the second half with a 39-32 lead, but the Commodores rallied in their final home game, pulling even at 43-43 on a Lubin layup five minutes into the half. The Gators went back in front and Zyon Pullin's layup with six minutes left gave them a 67-59 lead. Lubin hit a 3 and followed it with a layup to ignite a 9-2 run to get the Commodores within one, 69-68 with 2:41 left. Lubin tied the game at 73-73 a minute later.

Pullin hit two free throws with 35 seconds left to make it 78-75 and Lubin missed a 3-pointer to tie, but JaQualon Roberts snared the offensive rebound, drew a foul and hit both free throws to make it 78-77 with 24 seconds left. Lawrence forced a turnover and scored at the basket for the lead.

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Lubin matched his season-high with 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead Vanderbilt. Lawrence finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Pullin scored 20 points and dished eight assists to lead Florida. Tyrese Samuel scored 16 points and Walter Clayton Jr. added 14.

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