Florida defeats LSU 72-58 for first SEC win of season
Having allowed LSU to pull within seven to end the first half, Florida opened with a 15-2 run in the first 5:22 of the second half on its way to a 72-58 win over LSU at the O’Connell Center Saturday night.
With the victory, the Gators (12-5, 1-2 SEC) picked up their first SEC victory of the season, avoiding going 0-3 in conference play for the first time since 1982.
“There was no talk about it (the possibility of going 0-3), but we knew,’’ junior forward Alex Tyus said. “We came out and got the win today and now we’re a little bit more relaxed and we can keep getting better. That was one of the most balanced games we’ve played all year. And for the first time we came out in the second half and didn’t really have a letdown.’’
Florida led by as many as 15 in the first half, but the Tigers (9-8, 0-3) rallied late to pull within 37-30 at halftime, just missing on a late jumper that could have made it a five point deficit.
LSU’s comeback was led by senior forward Tasmin Mitchell who scored eight of LSU’s nine points in the final 5:34 of the half.
The Tigers seemed poised to start the second half with some momentum, but things never materialized that way. In the midst of Florida’s 23-6 run, Florida forward Chandler Parsons scored six consecutive points to help extend the Gators’ lead. Parsons, who got his first start of the season because Dan Werner was suffering from the flu most of the week, finished the game with 11 points (three of six from beyond the arc) and five rebounds.
Freshman forward Kenny Boynton had a game-high 18 points and five assists, while center Vernon Macklin and guard Erving Walker each added 14. Mitchell led LSU with 17 points and nine rebounds.