The Florida Gators lived up to their No. 1 ranking Saturday afternoon, defeating the LSU Tigers 79-61.
The SEC regular season champs held the Tigers to just 38 percent from the floor and 33 percent from the three point line. LSU had four players score in double figures, including junior forward Johnny O’Bryant III who led the team with 18 points.
It wasn’t enough however, as the Gators also had four players score in double digits. Sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith came off the bench to lead the team with 16 points.
Efficiency on offense and depth provided by the bench really allowed Florida to open things up as well. They shot 57 percent from the field and 56 beyond the arc.
In addition to the return of freshman guard Kasey Hill which helped provide depth behind senior Scottie Wilbekin, he was also able to increase the Gators offensive tempo.
With the continued added involvement of both sophomore forward DeVon Walker and freshman forward Chris Walker, the bench contributed 28 points and a total of 64 minutes.
UF moves to 27-2 and 16-0 in conference play this season. This 27th win marks the most regular season victories in the programs history, surpassing the mark set by the 2006-07 national championship team that went 26-5.
Florida has only two games remaining on their regular season schedule. Tuesday they hit the road and will be in Columbia to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gators won the last meeting 74-58 back in early January.
Their final game before the SEC tournament will be at home against revenged minded Kentucky. UF defeated the Wildcats on their home court of Rupp Arena 69-59 mid February.
If the Gators can win their next two games and at least make the SEC tournament title game, they’ll more than likely receive a number one seeding in the NCAA tournament.