Florida Hammers No. 6 Tennessee Despite Missing Three Starters

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Missing three starters didn't hold Florida from blowing out No. 6 Tennessee by over 20 points. 

SEC preseason player of the year Keyontae Johnson, Scottie Lewis and Colin Castleton all did not play in the Gators' 75-49 victory over the Volunteers, SEC's top ranked team. 

Johnson is still recovering after collapsing on the court in December but has rejoined Florida's basketball team and is helping coach in practice. Head coach Mike White said at the end of December that he is not sure if Johnson will return to play this season. 

Meanwhile, Lewis was out for a third straight game after exiting the lineup on Jan. 12 for what school officials said was "health and safety reasons." Castleton is out due to an ankle injury and is day to day, according to the program. 

Tennessee only had a single player reach double digits (John Fulkerson with 15 points) while Florida had four players, three of which were starters on Tuesday evening. Additionally, Gators' Omar Payne came close to a double-double but was shy a single point and rebound. 

While the Volunteers did commit more turnovers than typical for the program (18), sloppy play from the three-point line sealed their whopping loss. Florida shot 31.6% compared to Tennessee's 16.7%, only making three three-pointers. 

The Gators also made 49.2% of their baskets from the field while their opponents went 29.3%. 

Florida entered the game as a near double-digit underdog with the line swinging to -8.5 points an hour before tipoff when the announcement was made that leading rebounder and third-leading scorer Castleton was out.