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Streak matches second-longest in school history

1/15/2003

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Matt Bonner led Florida at both ends of
the floor against Tennessee on Wednesday night.

Bonner scored 25 points and played strong defense against the
Volunteers' Ron Slay as the Gators (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) matched the second-longest winning streak in school history at 10 with a 77-64 victory.

David Lee added 14 points for the Gators (14-2, 3-0 SEC), whose
also have won 13 straight at home, which ties the fourth-best
streak in school history.

Slay scored 17 points to lead the Vols (8-4, 1-2), but he came
in averaging 22. The senior forward shot just 7-of-24 against
Bonner.

"Ron and I go way back," Bonner said. "I think the first time
I ever played against him was when we were 15 in AAU ball. I think
we just respect each other, and we know every game we face each
other is going to be a war. That's what it was tonight."

"It wasn't just me," Bonner added. "I'm not stopping Ron
Slay. Our team is stopping him."

The Volunteers have lost five straight to Florida.

Brett Nelson had four points and made a nice pass setting up
Lee's slam to put Florida ahead 57-42 with 8:43 left.

"We knew in the second half they weren't going a lay down,"
Nelson said. "They came out and made a run at us. We came out and
had a few steals, which led to easy baskets for us."

After Slay hit two free throws, Nelson hit a jumper and Lee
added two free throws, extending Florida's lead to 61-44 with eight
minutes remaining.

Consecutive baskets by C.J. Watson and Slay got Tennessee to
61-48, but Bonner responded with a 3-pointer with five minutes
left. Nelson, who finished with 13 points, made a layup and two
free throws for a 70-53 lead with 90 seconds left.

Bonner had 15 points, including three 3s, in the first half to
help the Gators take a 36-23 lead.

"Matt Bonner is just an unbelievable player," Tennessee coach
Buzz Peterson said. "He can shoot the ball from the outside. He's
just hard to guard."

Highly touted Florida freshman Christian Drejer made his first
appearance, scoring four points in seven minutes off the bench. The
6-foot-9 guard from Denmark had been sidelined with a sprained left
ankle.

"I just wanted to get his feet wet," Donovan said. "I thought
he did some good things out there. I did not want to overwhelm him
and put him in a situation where he felt uncomfortable."

Both teams were coming off last-second victories Saturday.

Florida beat No. 20 Georgia 66-63 when Anthony Roberson hit a
3-pointer at the buzzer. Stanley Asumno's basket with 2.6 seconds
remaining lifted Tennessee past Mississippi 66-64.

Asumno left Wednesday's game in the second half with an ankle
injury.