GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Kenny Boynton scored 15 points, the last of them coming on a huge 3-pointer in overtime, and Florida beat No. 24 Vanderbilt 65-61 on Tuesday night.
Chandler Parsons added 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Gators (17-5, 6-2 Southeastern Conference), who improved to 5-0 following losses this season.
Parsons missed a jumper with 16 seconds remaining in overtime, but got the rebound and made two free throws with 15.6 seconds remaining to seal Florida's ninth win in its last 11 games.
Parsons may have shocked the home crowd, especially considering four of Florida's five losses can be attributed to missed free throws. The Gators went 15 of 26 from the line against Vanderbilt (15-6, 3-4), which lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
Boynton's 3 with 1:04 remaining made up for those woes.
John Jenkins led Vandy with 22 points, but the league's leading scorer went just 2 of 6 from 3-point range.
Brad Tinsley added 15 points for Vanderbilt, which faded down the stretch without three big men. Festus Ezeli fouled out with 3:50 remaining in regulation. Steve Tchiengang and Jeffrey Taylor joined him on the bench in the opening minutes of overtime.
Without them in the middle, Parsons drove toward the lane and hit a jumper that put Florida ahead 60-59. Lance Goulbourne answered on the other end with a driving, left-handed layup. Boynton followed with his huge 3, and the Commodores couldn't answer.
Erving Walker chipped in 15 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Gators.
Florida had chances in regulation, but Vernon Macklin missed two free throws with 2:31 remaining, Walker missed an open 3-pointer with 1:26 to go and Alex Tyus came up short on a dunk with 29 seconds left.
Jenkins, who has missed just one free throw in seven SEC games, hit two with 24.1 seconds remaining to tie it at 54. The Gators had plenty of time to do anything they wanted, but Walker settled for a 3-pointer in the final seconds. It came up short, and the game went to overtime.
Florida used a 7-0 run early in the second half to build its biggest lead of the game. Walked hit a driving layup, and Boynton followed with a 3-pointer and two free throws. The free throws, which came on a technical foul called on Vandy's bench, put the Gators ahead 43-35.
But the Commodores battled back.
Jenkins hit a wide-open 3 after Boynton missed on the other end. Tchiengang made two free throws, Jenkins made a reverse layup and then Taylor made a free throw. That spurt cut Florida's lead to 44-43.
The Gators went ahead 53-45 with 4:53 remaining.
But Taylor's 3 got Vandy close again.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair that was close from the opening tip. After a quick start, the Commodores missed 24 of their final 29 shots in the first half.
Florida was equally cold from the field, missing 16 of 23 shots in the opening 16 minutes. The Gators had five turnovers and missed both free throw attempts — a recurring problem for coach Billy Donovan's team this season.
Still, the Gators took the lead on Walker's buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Parsons inbounded the ball to Walker with a second remaining on the clock. Walker dribbled once and pulled up from about 25 feet. He got knocked down on the play, but was able to watch his shot swish through the net as the horn sounded.