Knoxville, Tenn. • Florida's smothering defense returned to form just in time for the third-ranked Gators to keep their winning streak going.
After falling behind in the first half due to Tennessee's strong shooting, the Gators stepped up their defense down the stretch and won 67-58 Tuesday night for their 16th consecutive victory. Florida also beat the Volunteers in Knoxville for only the second time in its last nine attempts.
Florida had allowed opponents to shoot just 38.4 percent in its first 22 games of the season before Alabama shot 55 percent in a 78-69 loss to the Gators on Saturday. Tennessee shot 62.5 percent in the first half Tuesday, but the Volunteers made just 29.2 percent (7 of 24) of their attempts after halftime.