Fastbreak: LSU dismantles Florida, again, 70-63

By Adam Silverstein
February 21, 2015

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. 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


  1. Sharon Milner says:

    Gee what a surprise. Florida dismantled by another SEC team. Billy is a great proven coach.
    What is wrong with these players who seem to play most of the time without much spirit or will to win and make insane and unnecessary mistakes in losing games by one point.

    Oh well I can watch Kentucky tonight. No more of my money goes to UF until things are at least going in a positive direction.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Be careful, Sharon. You’re not allowed to criticize a Billy D. coached team, even when all your are doing is stating the obvious. I read the part where you said that Billy D. is “a great proven coach,” but these knuckleheads don’t see that. They only read the parts they don’t like before they start foaming at the mouth and making personal attacks.

      This team, like too many other VERY TALENTED Billy D. coached teams, plays below their talent level, lacking toughness and basketball IQ, especially when the other team turns up the intensity (the 2 national champ teams and last year’s team being the exception). But I have to admit that this edition is softer and has an even lower basketball IQ than usual.

      Come on, get hysterical, raise hell, call me names, question my loyalty . . blah blah blah. The product on the court speaks for itself.

      • gatorboi352 says:

        Are you even aware of the level of success Billy has achieved with the UF program? This season doesn’t matter any more, he gets a pass. Stop wasting negative energy on it in these articles.

        This team will be back in the tournament again next year.

        Talented team’s underperforming you say? Right, because last year’s squad was just loaded with NBA caliber guys…

    • Michael Jones says:

      Although, in fairness, even I have to admit that the threat of withholding money is a little overboard. I give money to my school to support it and because I love it. I want the institution to be better, maybe give an underprivileged but deserving student a chance. I don’t contribute based on wins-and-losses.

      Billy D. has an impressive record and he has never done anything to embarrass our school. Love the guy personally. Just wish he coached a tougher, smarter brand of basketball that emphasized attacking the basket (like Murphy’s beautiful pump-fake-and-drive that is too rare for a Gator offensive player).

      • MAR says:

        Anyone who casts the phrase “billy ball” in a negative light, which you have done several times this season, is not a true Gator fan. Billy ball has made basketball relevant at UF. Billy ball has produced one of the best (if not the best) tournament records of any active coach. I’m starting to think you are Michael J whose negativity was banned from this site. If it is not you, then take your Billy bashing to wherever his comments now reside. You guys can be Billy bashing BFFs. I’m not sure I’ve witnessed such a know it all that actually know nothing.

  2. R Harden says:

    Gee what a surprise. No way your a true Gator fan! One bad season and your ready to jump off the ship? Short memory? Championships, final fours, 20 win seasons. Please become a UK fan!..I’m sure we will survive losing 1 idiot and the $12.99 of your money for the T-shirt..Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out!

    • R Harden says:

      Michael (king of stating the obvious)….This is social media! You put your opinion out there expect it to be answered. All her statements where fine except she’d rather watch a rival!! Just like you are defending her, we are defending the Gators. You like defend people from personnel insults then turn around and insult the Gator players…can you say Hypocrite!…Whoops you just got knocked off your moral high horse..LMAO

  3. 1955Gator says:

    Just a thought Sharon, how much money did you give UF last year when they won 30 straight and went to the final four? Send your money to Kentucky so they can buy some more players.

  4. Ken (CA) says:

    People often talk about how this team can’t finish off games, put the opponent away, but how many games have they lost now by spotting the opponents 10+ points before they decided to start playing and then lost the game by single digits? 4-5 at least? I know they are undermanned but there just seems to be no winning mentality in this particular group of players that pushes them. I think that is what Billy has been talking about all season. The coach can’t force players to be motivated and he seems to be doing all he can, and it sounds like that is why DFS is suspended as well. These guys just don’t seem to have that in their DNA, and it is just very painful to watch them. The team never was able to find a leader or an identity and it shows.

  5. Sgt. Friday says:

    Billy Donovan is one of the best coaches in the country, and i can’t think of anyone that I’d trade for him, including Calapari. If you think Kentucky is getting everyone it wants because Calapari is such a great guy and Kentucky is such a fine school, I think you’re being naive. It’s a down year, so what? Donovan took an overachieving team to the Final Four, and no one would confuse that team with one being loaded with talent. For him to achieve what he has done at a football school, and regardless of how mediocre the football team is at this time, Florida is a football school, is remarkable. I hope the people criticizing Donovan now have someone in mind that would do better, I think that drew a blank, so be happy with, possibly, the finest basketball coach in the country and realize that UF is not Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, etc. UF is a football school that has been relevant in basketball due to Donovan, and only Donovan.

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