The Florida Gators (12-2) took a visit to Baton Rouge on Saturday and came out clean on the other end, waxing the LSU Tigers (9-4) in their own building, 74-52.
Florida played uninspired basketball during the bulk of the first half, going through the motions and allowing the Tigers to hang around. But the Gators ended the first half strong with a 12-1 run in the last 4:02, capping off their late surge with a Scottie Wilbekin jump shot with four seconds remaining.
The Gators carried over their late first-half success into the second half with a 15-5 run in the first 5:42 of the second, putting Florida ahead by 19 from the get-go.
LSU did not leave quietly, though. The Tigers put in full-court pressure and cut the deficit to 13 points, thanks in part to an impressive defensive sequence in which the purple and gold forced three straight turnovers.
Florida proved too strong in the end, however, thanks to balanced scoring and more stifling team defense.
The Gators had four players score in double figures, including Kenny Boynton with a game high 20 to place him above both Erving Walker and Udonis Haslem on Florida’s all-time scoring list. Boynton’s historic day puts him third in the record books and came at just the right time as Florida played without Mike Rosario, who sat out due to a sprained ankle suffered against Georgia Wednesday night.
Florida’s defense held LSU to 32 percent shooting and proved they could hold yet another opponent under 60 points. Two Tigers scored in double figures and Florida used their usual combination of zone, press and man-to-man to confuse their hosts time and again.
Florida hits the road again Thursday, January 17th to face the Texas A&M Aggies.
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