By: Jenna Ladd
The Louisiana State Tigers set their momentum in the beginning of the game and despite the Gators’ greatest efforts to steal it away; they came up short falling on the road, 70-63. Florida dug a hole allowing LSU to start the game with a 12-0 run.
With Michael Frazier still out with an injured ankle and Dorian Finney-Smith missing his second game in a row due to a suspension, Florida had to rely on their supporting cast to take control of the game.
For the second game in a row, Devin Robinson was one of the leading scorers with 12 points. The only player ahead of him was guard Eli Carter, who had 14 points.
There was not a player on Saturday’s roster that did not score for the team, making in a widespread, collective effort. Florida’s bench outscored Louisiana State’s 17-2, reiterating the fact that this game was not played by a select few, but the entire team.
However, even a team effort was not enough to upset the Tigers at home in Baton Rouge. After LSU took off with a 12-0 run by the 17:23 mark of the first half, the Gators were struggling to find their rhythm.
By the 10:59 mark of the first frame, Florida still trailed 22-9. This is when the game changed from a potential blowout to an actual competition as the Gators went on a 13-0 run to tie the game at 22 with 3:44 left in the half.
The Tigers refused to leave the court for halftime without the lead and came back to close off the half with a 9-0 run over the final minutes. Despite an impressive comeback, Florida was left heading into the locker room with a seven-point deficit at 33-26.
As usual, the second half was back-and-forth with baskets but the Gators just couldn’t narrow in enough to make it a one-possession game. Florida never held a lead in the second half, but they did win the battle in the paint as they scored 32 points and LSU only scored 22 throughout the game.
In the final frame, Florida revisited some of their most common mistakes of giving up free throws and miscommunications resulting in turnovers. That, and the fact that they just could not pull stops or put the Tigers in foul trouble.
On the other hand, the Gators did force 15 turnovers that they made 22 points off of. Meaning that the effort was there to try to capitalize off of the Tigers’ mistakes when they could.
Yet, the same trend of close, but no cigar showed itself again. Another close game for the team that gets adversity thrown at them from every angle this year, hopefully they can make a change before taking on Missouri on Tuesday, February 24 on the road.