KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Scotty Hopson came out of a timeout and quickly hit a long jump shot with 21 seconds left to give No. 14 Tennessee a 61-60 win over Florida on Sunday.
The basket gave the Volunteers (16-4, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) their sixth straight win over their East Division rival and fifth straight victory in Knoxville. It also kept Tennessee from dropping a third game in a row.
Alex Tyus, who led the Gators with 18 points, had a chance to grab the lead back for Florida (15-6, 4-3) but missed a jumper in the middle of a crowd under the basket with 5 seconds left.
After playing poorly in the first half, Wayne Chism led the Vols with 16 points and 11 rebounds and hit two key free throws with 42 seconds left. Hopson scored 10 points, and J.P Prince had 12.
In his short career, Hopson has been at his best against the Gators. He logged 20 points as a freshman last season against them in Knoxville and came up with a big block on a potential game-tying 3 by Erving Walker with 37 seconds left in Tennessee's win in Gainesville.
Tennessee overcame a slow, sloppy first half to dominate Florida in the second half. The Vols were scrappier on defense and put a strong effort on the boards, outrebounding the Gators 27 to 12 after halftime.
Before the break, it was all Florida.
The Gators used a pressing defense reminiscent of one Tennessee has used against them in the past. They limited the Vols to 36.4 shooting and outrebounded them 20-14 before halftime while taking control of the paint on both ends.
Dan Werner hit a 3-point shot from the corner of the floor and the Gators hit two more in the paint to grab a 15-7 lead with 12:55 to go.
Florida led by 10 points in the first half thanks to 57.7 percent shooting, but the Gators cooled off considerably in the second half, hitting just 36.4 percent from the field.
Bruce Pearl is now 8-1 against Florida and Billy Donovan, who joined the Tennessee coach for a $1,000-per-couple social on Saturday night to raise money for cancer screening as part of Tennessee's Outlive initiative.