GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- In a matchup of two of the Southeastern
Conference's best frontcourts, Florida dominated LSU in the second
Florida trailed 51-45 after LSU went on a 12-0 run in the second
half, but the Gators responded with an 18-3 spurt to take control.
Noah scored inside on consecutive possessions to tie it at 53 with
9:53 left, then Taurean Green and Lee Humphrey hit consecutive
3-pointers to give the Gators the lead for good.
LSU never came within five points the rest of the way.
Behind 69-62, the Tigers had two chances to get closer in the
last 2 minutes. Noah came from behind to block Darrel Mitchell's
layup attempt on a breakaway, and seconds later, Horford blocked a
shot by Tasmin Mitchell and the ball went out of bounds off LSU.
Glen Davis, a 6-foot-9, 310-pound sophomore, had 16 points and
15 rebounds and Tasmin Mitchell added 14 points, but the Tigers'
forwards combined for only 10 points in the second half. Noah
matched that total by himself.
"Florida demonstrated what they wanted to do early on by going
right at Glen Davis," LSU coach John Brady said. "Around the goal
they were a little bit better than we were. That was the difference
in the game."
Florida (21-3, 7-3) snapped a three-game losing streak to LSU
(16-7, 8-2) in its first game after having its 20-game home winning
streak snapped by South Carolina on Wednesday.
After getting outrebounded 24-17 in the first half, Florida had
a 21-14 advantage on the boards in the second half. LSU is the
SEC's leading rebounding team, and Florida had been outrebounded
seven times in its first nine conference games.
Noah had nine rebounds after averaging only four in Florida's
last four games.
"With those guys, if we don't block them out, they are going to
dunk on our heads," Horford said. "Our goal was to keep them off
Both teams' point guards struggled.
Green, Florida's top scorer, went 1-for-9 from the field and
shot two airballs, finishing with three points. Darrel Mitchell of
LSU, the SEC's second-leading scorer at 18.6 points a game, had 11
on 5-of-16 shooting.
"He is the whole key to their team," Florida coach Billy
Donovan said of Darrel Mitchell. "When he gets his 18 to 19
points, everything else seems to fall into place."
While no one in LSU's backcourt compensated for Mitchell's
shooting woes, Florida got 13 points from Humphrey off the bench
and a couple of key plays from freshman Walter Hodge.
Hodge, who had gone scoreless for two consecutive games, hit all
three of his shots and drove for consecutive layups after Florida
fell behind 51-45. Humphrey, the SEC's leader in 3-point field goal
percentage, went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc despite playing with a
separated left shoulder he sustained falling off a bicycle on Jan.
"My shoulder is actually still pretty sore, but it doesn't
affect my shooting as much as my defense," Humphrey said. "You
have to go out there and play like nothing is bothering you. If you
don't, you are not going to play as well."
LSU was 2 for 11 from 3-point range, while Florida was 4-of-13.
Florida forward Corey Brewer picked up his second foul less than
3 minutes into the game and sat out the next 7 minutes. LSU went
ahead 20-14 while holding the Gators to one field goal in a 6:30
When Brewer returned, Florida coach Billy Donovan switched to a
zone defense for the rest of the half, and LSU went cold from the
field. Brewer's baseline leaner, his only points of the half, keyed
a 14-6 run that gave the Gators a 28-26 lead with 4:07 left in the
"We tried to score a little too quick against their zone,"
Brady said. "We got the ball where we wanted, but we tried to
score without getting the ball reversed."