NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Dorian Finney-Smith scored 19 points, and No. 1 Florida held off Vanderbilt 57-54 on Tuesday night to clinch at least a share of its second straight Southeastern Conference title and seventh overall.
Patric Young added 12 points for the Gators (26-2, 15-0 SEC), who continued the best season in school history by winning their 20th straight game, and now they will have a chance to claim their third SEC title in four years all to themselves with a win against LSU on Saturday.
The Commodores (15-12, 7-8) beat Florida 83-70 the last time the Gators came into Memorial Gym ranked No. 1, on Feb. 17, 2007. Coach Kevin Stallings only has seven healthy scholarship players right now, and they proved no match for Florida’s smothering defense.
The Commodores sure made it interesting.
Kyle Fuller missed a tying 3 in the final seconds, and Dai-Jon Parker missed a putback attempt.
No. 6 Duke, Virginia Tech 48
DURHAM, N.C. — Rodney Hood scored 21 points to help Duke beat Virginia Tech.
Rasheed Sulaimon added 15 points for the Blue Devils (23-6, 12-4 ACC) who jumped to a 24-4 lead midway through the first half and never trailed — though they struggled to land a game-finishing blow on the Hokies.
Duke didn’t shoot the ball particularly well and its outside shooting was streaky, but it still had relatively little trouble against a Virginia Tech team that has won just once since the start of the calendar year. The last-place Hokies (9-18, 2-13) had a strong start to the second half and got within seven points, but never seriously threatened what would have been an improbable comeback in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Blue Devils finished the game shooting 39 percent, including 10 for 33 from 3-point range — well below their ACC-leading 40.7 percent.
No. 20 Iowa 89
MINNEAPOLIS — Austin Hollins scored a career-high 27 points on 8-for-10 shooting, DeAndre Mathieu had 19 points and seven assists and Minnesota bounced back from a monthlong slump with a victory over Iowa.
Hollins made all seven of his free throws for the Gophers (18-11, 7-9 Big Ten), who won for just the third time in their last nine games by making 13 of their last 14 free throws over the final 70 seconds. Charles Buggs came off the end of the bench to score a career-high 13 points.
Roy Devyn Marble had only five of his 24 points in the second half for the Hawkeyes (19-8, 8-6), who have their first two-game losing streak of the season. All six of their previous defeats were by teams currently ranked in the top 22 of the latest Associated Press poll.
Aaron White added 21 points, and Josh Oglesby scored 16 in his first start of the season.