|No. 11 Florida beat LSU 74-52|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 12 January 2013 15:25|
The Tigers were outrebounded by the undermanned Gators 53-34 in a 74-52 loss Saturday.
``They outrebounded us on both ends and the ball wasn't bouncing our way,'' said LSU guard Anthony Hickey, who led the Tigers with 15 points. ``They were able to switch and get length on the front court end. They're big. They had the length.''
Will Yeguete had 13 rebounds to lead five Gators with at least seven, but Tigers' big man Johnny O'Bryant III is still recovering from a leg injury and only played 14 minutes.
``We did a good job crashing the boards today,'' Yeguete said. ``The big man, the 7-(foot)-3 guy (Andrew Del Piero) was tired so we just kept crashing him over and over.''
Florida (12-2, 2-0 SEC) broke open the game with a 31-6 run across both halves before coasting to the win. By the time the run had ended, the Tigers (9-4, 0-2 SEC) had connected on only 25 percent of their shot attempts.
``We're not concerned because we know we're a team that can shoot the ball,'' said guard Shavon Coleman, who had 11 points, five rebounds and two blocks. ``It's just going to take some time at practice.''
Kenny Boynton scored 20 points and Patric Young had 14 for the Gators (12-2, 2-0 SEC). Yeguete had 10 points.
Both teams struggled to find their shots early, but Florida's aggressive defensive rebounding and stingy possessions allowed them to build a 15-10 lead. The Tigers rallied with Anthony Hickey finding Del Piero slicing through the paint to lay in a tying basket.
The teams traded baskets before Florida broke a 19-all tie with a 10-1 run to end the half, punctuated by Scottie Wilbekin's jumper at the buzzer.
LSU head coach Johnny Jones knows his team came up short, but loved their nature against a strong Gators team.
``We really want to commend our guys,'' Jones said. ``I thought they gave tremendous effort. They played every second of every play and expended a lot of energy.''
Despite getting into the bonus early, the Gators were just 2 of 7 from the free throw line in the first half, but Donovan's team had just two turnovers on the way to a 29-20 halftime lead.
``They were tough,'' Del Piero. ``They would have people come in one after another. That will really wear you down at the end.''
The Gators expanded their lead in cutthroat fashion to open the second half, scoring 12 of the half's first 15 points to go up 41-25. Boynton made two 3-pointers and scored eight points in the first five minutes.
``We understood what shots to take and what not to take,'' Boynton said. ``In the second half we shut them out, saw what was open and what wasn't and did a great job at adjusting.''
Florida lost Casey Prather to a high ankle sprain during the game. He had six points in just 13 minutes.
LSU created opportune looks at the basket all game, but shot 32.3 percent. With the 13 minutes to go in the second half, the Tigers were shooting a meager 25 percent.
``We are just going to put this game behind us,'' said Hickey. ``We were in a war today and just couldn't capture the win. We've got a lot of fights left.''
LSU has lost 4 of 7 after starting the season with six-straight wins.