The Florida Gators were embarrassed by the LSU Tigers on Jan. 20 when LSU ended Florida’s 20-game home winning streak against Southeastern Conference opponents that dated back two years. If Florida was looking for revenge Saturday, it didn’t show that to be the case as the Tigers ran past the Gators 70-63 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
LSU (19-8, 8-6 SEC) swept Florida (13-14, 6-8 SEC) over two regular-season games for the first time since 1991, the last occasion the two SEC rivals squared off in a home-and-home series. The Gators also lost consecutive games to the Tigers for the first time since 2008-09.
OnlyGators.com breaks down Saturday’s action with nine quick-hitters:
It was over when: Florida cut its deficit to six with less than seven minutes to play, but LSU immediately responded with a 9-0 run, capped by a three from Jalyn Patterson, to take a 63-47 lead that was simply insurmountable for the Gators.
Significant stretch: The Tigers built on their first half-ending 9-0 run, extending it to a 17-2 stretch to regain their massive lead and eventually jump ahead by a game-high 16 points early in the second half.
Prominent players: Jarell Martin was the player of the game, registering a double-double with game-highs of 28 points (also a career-high) and 12 rebounds for LSU. He also posted the game’s highlight play (see below) and was a dominant force that Florida was unable to contain. Redshirt junior guard Eli Carter led the way for the Gators with 14 points but did so on just 4-of-13 shooting.
First half focus: LSU opened the contest to a huge advantage, hitting its first four shots and taking a 12-0 lead as Florida missed its first six attempts from the floor, turned the ball over twice and committed two fouls – all in the opening three minutes. The Gators would respond with an explosive 17-2 run, which included six Tigers turnovers (four-straight) and no points for 7:38, to take their first lead at 26-24 with 3:44 remaining in the opening half. LSU responded in a major way, however, breaking a 26-all tie with a highlight dunk, following it up with an alley-oop and ending the half on a buzzer-beating three to complete a 9-0 run and hold a 33-26 lead at the break.
Perfect play: What else would it be but the a fastbreak, between-the-legs dunk by LSU’s Martin, who also hit the first half-ending buzzer beater for the Tigers. This hammer dunk by UF redshirt junior forward Alex Murphy was also impressive.
Standout stats: UF outrebounded LSU 42-36 and took 13 more shots than the hosts but still fell by seven as the Tigers went 21-of-27 from the charity stripe while the visitors only took 12 attempts (making nine). The Gators shot 35.3 from the field (24-of-68), committing 15 turnovers and 19 fouls (15 in the second half). UF is now shooting 43.2 percent from the field this season, its worst average since 1995-96 (42.6 percent).
Interesting information: Florida allowed an opponent to score with less than six seconds remaining in a half for the 12th time this season (Miami, Georgetown, UAB, North Carolina, Kansas, Florida State [twice], Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, LSU). The trey made at the buzzer in the first half helped along LSU’s comeback after UF had taken its first lead of the game.
What it means: The Gators are 1-5 in their last six games and 3-8 in their last 11 dating back to Jan. 17, falling back below .500 with just four games remaining in the 2014-15 regular season.
Next up: In what will likely be the last game it is favored in this season, Florida will travel to face Missouri on Tuesday. The game is set for a 9 p.m. tip.
Everything else: Redshirt junior F Dorian Finney-Smith missed his second-straight game due to suspension … freshman F Devin Robinson finished with 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting with seven boards … redshirt senior center Jon Horford grabbed a team-high eight boards … the Gators led for just 32 seconds with the game tied for 1:45, giving the Tigers the lead for 37:43 of the 40-minute contest