The top-ranked Florida Gators nailed down their spot in the SEC Championship Game with a 56-49 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday afternoon. Powered by a fantastic defensive effort in the second half, Billy Donovan's team came back from a seven-point halftime deficit to avoid its first in-conference defeat of the season.
Riding a five-game winning streak into the Georgia Dome on Saturday, the Volunteers came out firing and grabbed a 35-28 lead by the break. The Gators responded by making some major defensive adjustments in the second half and ended up allowing just 14 points to Tennessee in the final 20 minutes.
The Gators were especially brilliant on the defensive end in the final 12 minutes, allowing just one field goal and six points as Tennessee's offense came to a complete halt. With that suffocating defensive effort leading the way, Florida eventually took the lead for good with nine minutes remaining on a three by Michael Frazier II.
Patric Young led the Gators with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Casey Prather added 12 points and five assists. Frazier II and Scottie Wilbekin each recorded four steals as part of the team's impressive defensive performance.
The Gators will play the winner of Saturday's semifinal matchup between Georgia and Kentucky on Sunday for the conference title. Here's a link to the full SEC bracket.