Gators show no mercy as Florida Basketball makes light work of Vanderbilt

Feb 24, 2024; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators guard Will Richard (5) attempts to steal the
Feb 24, 2024; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators guard Will Richard (5) attempts to steal the / Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

One of the bugaboos for Florida Basketball during the 2023-24 campaign has been putting its foot down ans squashing the life out of teams when the Gators have them dead to rights. Blown leads to Kentucky, Georgia, Texas A&M, LSU, and Alabama have served as a backdrop for an otherwise successful campaign.

No such worry existed in Gainesville on Saturday as the Gators took on lowly Vanderbilt and showed zero mercy as Florida cruised to a 77-64 victory.

Florida Basketball: That Was Easy

Nobody is going to look at Florida's win and start shaking in their boots. Vanderbilt is terrible and Jerry Stackhouse is probably in the process of updating his resume.

But the step forward for Florida is that once it went up by 11 points with six minutes to go in the first half the lead never dipped under double digits the rest of the way. People who bet on Florida to cover the spread will be sad that the Gators were up by 20 with 1:21 left in the game and let Vanderbilt go on a 7-0 run to allow the Commodores to cover, but that's all semantics in the big picture.

Will Richard had 21 points and two steals, Walter Clayton had 19 points, and Tyrese Samuel had 15 points and six rebounds.

At this point the only real story line to explore as a follow up has been the evaporation of minutes for Riley Kugel, who only had six in the game after only having three vs Alabama.

But for the Gators as a whole, their ship keeps forging ahead towards a date in the NCAA Tournament. They have four regular season games left, two of which will be Quad One oppurtuniies (at South Carolina and home against Alabama). Win one of those along with their rematches against Missouri and Vanderbilt and Selection Sunday should be a stress free affair for the Gators in 2024.