NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Matt Freije found his shooting stroke in time to help Vanderbilt to its biggest win of the season.
Freije scored 23 points as 23rd-ranked Vanderbilt avoided a third straight loss with an 86-72 victory over No. 10 Florida in a Southeastern Conference contest.
Vanderbilt (13-2, 2-2 SEC East) had a 12-game winning streak snapped with losses at Kentucky and Tennessee. Freije made just 8-of-27 shots and totaled 21 points in the two defeats.
Back home at Memorial Gym, the preseason SEC Player of the Year turned in his usual all-around effort. Freije, who managed 45 points in two games against the Gators last season, had his outside shot working and was able to get to the line.
"I just wanted to make something happen down low tonight," Freije said. "This is good for myself since I've been struggling."
Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings spent some extra time with his star in order to get him going in preparation for Florida.
"I made Matt spend the day with me on Thursday," Stallings said. "I required him to be in my presence for a few hours. I knew if he didn't get it going that our behinds were in trouble. He's been frustrated recently, and I think he just needed to get re-centered."
Florida (11-3, 2-1), which had a six-game winning streak snapped, took a 35-31 lead on Christian Drejer's 3-pointer that opened the second half. Vanderbilt responded with a 21-9 spurt and opened a 44-35 advantage on a basket by David Przybyszewski with just over 12 minutes to go.
Matt Walsh led the Gators with 16 points and made the mistake of committing an intentional foul on Corey Smith in the second half, inciting the crowd. Walsh was booed every time he touched the ball thereafter.
"I did not mean to hurt him," Walsh said. "It wasn't done on purpose. I just wanted to play hard and get my team going. When you're on the road in a hostile environment, there are no easy buckets on both sides."
Mario Moore scored 21 points and Corey Smith chipped in 14 for Vanderbilt, which shot a sizzling 63 percent (19-of-30) in the second half. Moore made five 3-pointers as the Commodores drained 10-of-15.
"Corey may have had his best game since he's been here," Stallings said. "I'm just very proud of the way they played."
The Gators had their five-game winning streak over the Commodores snapped. They were outscored in the paint, 34-24 and on the break, 14-4.
"That was as bad as it gets," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "We just couldn't get it going in the second half. I thought Vanderbilt played an exceptional game at both ends of the court."