Why Schofield, Vols did Gator chomp
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Admiral Schofield has had a handful of memorable celebrations this season.
But Saturday’s opportunity to run toward the Florida student section doing the Gator chomp is his favorite yet, as he and his teammates celebrated after UT’S 78-67 win against the Gators on Saturday.
“The Gator chomp is always my favorite because I have never liked Florida, never will,’ Schofield said.
It was unplanned, as the others have been this season, but this celebration also was different. Schofield said the moment was building throughout the game based on things being said by Florida fans.
“Their fans were chirping a lot, even behind our bench,” Schofield said. “Things that were said from fans that were just older fans. Not even students. Alumni, maybe. Just very disrespectful, inhumane. I won’t repeat what was said.”
Schofield, often the focal point of opposing fans, still was yelling toward the stands behind Tennessee’s bench after the win. He did the same during the second half.
“It’s basketball at the end of the day,” Schofield added. “No matter if it’s Tennessee vs. Florida, Michigan vs. Ohio State. It’s a sport. No one should be called out their name like that. It’s big-time for us. I’m glad we got the win. The Gator chomp was just the emotion from that.
“We still have some class, but at the same time, when we are disrespected, why show respect back?”
Schofield wasn’t alone in doing the Gator chomp on the court after the win. Grant Williams was in the forefront of the action. Jordan Bone, Jordan Bowden, Lamonte Turner and John Fulkerson also got in on the moment.
“It just happens in the moment,” said Bowden, who scored 12 of his 17 points in a blitz to lead UT to the win. “I saw AD run over there to the student section doing. I don’t usually celebrate like that, but I had to do it, too.”
Tennessee trailed by three with 8:16 to play before Bowden scored 12 straight points in less than three minutes. Schofield sealed the win with a clutch 3-pointer from the corner to give UT a five-point lead with 41.3 seconds to play.
Schofield has had a few moments like that this season as No. 3 Tennessee (14-1, 3-0 SEC) has rolled through the past couple months. He’s also had the celebrations to follow.
After he scored 25 second-half points in UT’S win against then-no. 1 Gonzaga, Schofield bolted into the stands to find his father and celebrate the win in Phoenix.
Less than a week later, Schofield ran around the floor at Memphis’ Fedexforum pulling out the “Tennessee” across the chest of his jersey in front of the Memphis fans.
“Admiral is always the ring leader of everything,” Bowden said. “Admiral is always like that.”
Sunday’s Top 25 game
No. 6 Michigan State 71, Penn State 56: Nick Ward had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead Michigan State to a win over host Penn State. Matt Mcquaid added 15 points and Cassius Winston chipped in 11 for the Spartans (15-2, 6-0 Big Ten), who have won 10 straight. They also beat the Nittany Lions (7-10, 0-6) for the 10th consecutive time. Kenny Goins added 10 rebounds for the Spartans, who only trailed for 10 seconds and led by as many as 21 with 6:44 to play. Lamar Stevens led Penn State (7-10, 0-6) with 20 points. Myles Dread, Josh Reaves and Mike Watkins all scored 11 points. — Associated Press
Grant Williams (2) and Admiral Schofield (5) of Tennessee taunt the fans with the Gator chomp after defeating Florida Gators on Saturday in Gainesville, Fla. DOUGLAS DEFELICE/USA TODAY