Florida romps LSU in SEC tourney
by David Jones, USA TODAY Sports
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Florida hadn’t won a game away from its home court in Gainesville in a month prior to Friday’s 80-58 win against LSU in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament.
And more Erik Murphy.
It wasn’t a true road game but the Gators will take it, as they try to convince the NCAA tournament selection committee they aren’t just a group of home boys who wither outside city lines. The Gators (25-6) couldn’t have asked for a better breakout game away from home, as Murphy recorded his second consecutive double-double — getting career-highs with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
Florida had a sizzling shooting game — especially behind the arc. Murphy made five of seven shots from the 3-point line. Scottie Wilbekin hit four of five shots behind the arc and finished with 16 points.
Overall, the Gators hit 11 of 20 shots from three-point range. It was the most threes in one game since making 15 at Auburn on Feb. 16, which was also the last win away from the O’Connell Center.
Michael Frazier added 11 points and Patric Young had 10. Florida also completely dominated the boards, 47-27.
Florida almost immediately jumped to the lead, going up 13-8 in the early minutes. LSU cut its deficit to one point before a 9-0 run by the Gators made it 27-17 with 6 minutes 32 seconds left in the first half.
The Gators led 43-28 at the break and increased their lead in the second half, never letting LSU (19-12) make a game of it. The Gators will meet the Tennessee-Alabama winner on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Gators, fighting to either hold on to a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament or somehow sneak back up to a No. 2, which is unlikely, had suffered through a streak of three … [For more on Florida romps past LSU in SEC tourney behind Erik Murphy's huge game, click here.]