LSU built a 12-point lead just eight and a half minutes into the game hitting their first five shots and 9 of their first 13. Florida fought back and went on a 15 point run driving the score to 23-20 in favor of Florida. LSU immediately scored the next ten points and ended up leading at half 40-29.
The Tigers saw their lead increase to 18 points with 13 minutes and the Tigers would remain in control for most of the rest of the game. However, Florida wouldn’t quit. Despite constant issues with the officiating, Florida decided to foul the Tigers heading down the stretch. With 1:38 left in the game and a nine point lead, the Tigers last 15 points of the game would be made from the free throw line.
In the end, it was the free throws that were the main difference in the game. LSU shot 43 free throws and made 30. The Gators would hit 15 of 25. LSWU freshman guard Antonio Blakeney scored a game high 32 points and 12 of those came from the charity stripe.
Florida also struggled defensively. While the Gators shot well (55% from the field, 43% from three), LSU shot just a little bit better (56% and 44% from three). With the difference in free throws taken, Florida had to play better defensively.
Turnovers also were an issue for Florida, although after committing 10 in the first half, Florida limited the second half to 6 and their 16 was just one more than LSU’s total of 15.
Florida held superstar freshman forward Ben Simmons to just four points in the first half, but as the game went on Simmons would assert himself and finish with 20 points on the night.
The Gators were led by sophomore center John Egbunu who scored 22 and went 8-11 from the field. Junior guard Kasey Hill scored 16 and was key down the stretch but was a big part of the turnover issue early in the game and finished with five turnovers.
Senior forward Dorian Finney-Smith threw in 14 points and seven rebounds including 4-6 from the three-point arc. Sophomore Devin Robinson added 15 points including going 4-5 from three point land.