Tennessee hold off Florida 63-58 behind Fulkerson

FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2019, file photo, Florida coach Mike White reacts to a call during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Tennessee, in Knoxville, Tenn. Florida coach Mike White spent the first three months of the season watching his Gators burn through just about any cushion they had in building a viable NCAA Tournament resume. Now his team could use a strong finish to earn a bid. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2019, file photo, Florida coach Mike White reacts to a call during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Tennessee, in Knoxville, Tenn. Florida coach Mike White spent the first three months of the season watching his Gators burn through just about any cushion they had in building a viable NCAA Tournament resume. Now his team could use a strong finish to earn a bid. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – John Fulkerson knew the shot clock was winding down and Tennessee needed something to halt a furious Florida comeback.

Fulkerson set his feet and let a 3-point shot fly from near the top of the key. The junior forward had only attempted one other 3-pointer in his entire career, and missed.

But his second attempt hit nothing but net, and helped the Vols secure their biggest victory of the season.

Fulkerson scored 22 points, including his clutch 3 and a tip dunk down the stretch, as Tennessee held on to beat Florida 63-58 on Saturday.

Tennessee (16-13, 8-8 SEC) led by 19 points with nine minutes remaining, but saw the Gators claw back behind Tre Mann and Kerry Blackshear Jr.

Florida (18-11, 10-6) got as close as one point in the final three minutes, but Fulkerson's 3-pointer stemmed the rally.

"I was talking to Kerry Blackshear down at the other end and I was like, 'That was God right there,'" said Fulkerson, who missed his only other career 3-point attempt against Arkansas earlier this season. "He said 'good shot,' and I was like, 'I really can't take credit for it.'"

The Vols defeated Florida for the fourth straight time, and have won five of the last six against the Gators.