Final: Florida 76, No. 9 LSU 73

  • Final: Florida 76, No. 9 LSU 73

Final: Florida 76, No. 9 LSU 73

The Gators split their series with the Tigers in the regular season, taking a win on the road and falling to LSU at home. Make the switch and host your tournament pool here.

Harper scored 19 of his 27 points after halftime as the 22nd-ranked Tigers pulled away down the stretch to beat SC 73-64 in a Southeastern Conference Tournament quarterfinal Friday. "Thought we played really well, as we have against those guys three times. Looking back I shouldn't got a T on it".

It's been a great year for this league top to bottom.

"LSU is one of the best teams in the country", White said. KeVaughn Allen made both foul shots.

Kevarrius Hayes was tremendous again. The senior forward was almost as good in the rematch and helped SC lead for much of the first half before Auburn rallied to forge a 36-all tie at the intermission. It's a good story. It was a six-point play and a 66-63 Florida lead. The Tigers had 13 of its 16 buckets from inside the paint.

LSU-Florida never disappoints, does it?

Florida made 6-of-13 three-pointers in the second half. The Gators were led by Nembhard, who scored 20.

LSU managed to hold their double-digit advantage for the first five minutes of the second half, but Florida had a strong response to close the gap.

Nembhard left of Aurora Ont. hugs teammate Jalen Hudson after hitting the game-winner
Nembhard left of Aurora Ont. hugs teammate Jalen Hudson after hitting the game-winner

Jump-started by a ferocious dunk by Johnson, UF went on an 11-2 run to cut their deficit to just one point. Wade also referenced "the Smart thing", which led to speculation about freshman guard Javonte Smart. Harper had six assists and six rebounds to go along with his 27 points.

Reid drained a long three pointer to tie the game with 1:00 to play, 70-70, but Florida made 3-of-4 free throws on its next two possessions to lead 73-70 with 22 seconds to play. LSU freshman forward Naz Reid was simultaneously whistled for an off-ball foul and Benford's display of emotion on the sideline earned him a technical. Three other Gators - Allen, Hayes and Hudson - each put up 10 or more points for Florida. I just questioned the ref on it. "In my head I was thinking what Coach White said: Play off two feet". They hit some big shots. I know he was going to hit it because he's been working hard every Sunday.

"Originally that wasn't the play we drew up, but they got to a 1-3-1", Andrew Nembhard said. It was a good drive by Keyontae.

This morning, I advised President Alexander, Athletic Director Joe Alleva and the LSU Board of Supervisors that I would like to resume my duties as Head Basketball Coach. "I'm happy it went down, for sure".

Inside the box score: Florida struggled at the free throw line, especially Johnson. Totals 26-56 16-26 76.

The Gators advanced to face the victor of No. 4 SC and No. 5 Auburn.

Next up: The Gators (19-14) advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals on Saturday at 1 p.m. against the South Carolina-Auburn victor at 1 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

Stay tuned to GatorsTerritory.