Duke took over the lead after the second round, scoring a team total of 8-under on the par-72 course to move in front of Florida. The Blue Devils have a two-day total of 5-under par 571, five strokes better than the Gators who are at even-par after Friday's 2-over round.
Auburn dropped from second to third with a 5-over finish in the second round, while Wake Forest climbed one spot to fourth place with an even round on a day with temperatures in the 90s, high humidity and minimal winds over the open layout.
South Florida (+9), South Carolina (+15) and Vanderbilt (+16) rounded out the top seven teams, and Furman, Georgia and Tulane are knotted in eighth place at 18-over with 18 holes left to play.
Memphis is just ahead of LSU in eleventh place with a two-day total of +20.
The Lady Tigers begin their final round play at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning, giving them an opportunity to play under somewhat cooler conditions. If LSU can lower its way into the top eight, Bahnsen hopes the rest of the field will start paying attention to the leader board rather than their own performances.
"We know we just have to go out there and play our game," said Bahnsen. "I've seen this happen before. Teams start looking over their shoulder and worrying about what other people are doing. Our girls know they just need to go out there and perform."
In the individual competition, Leigh Ann Hardin of Duke surged ahead of the field with a 67 in the second round that tied a women's tournament course record. She is 6-under for the event, one stroke ahead of Auburn's Celeste Troche and two better than Meredith Duncan of LSU and Jameica Duncombe of South Florida.
Troche, Duncan and Duncombe were co-leaders after the first round with 4-under 68s on Thursday.
The heat affected Duncan on the front nine, according to Bahnsen, causing her to falter in the early going. She bogeyed the second and fifth holes but got the strokes back with birdies at No. 11 and 15.
"The putts just didn't fall for her today," said Bahnsen. "She's swinging real well and hitting the ball, but it just breaks down for her on the green. We all kind of had that problem today."
The Lady Tigers got improved scoring on in the second round from two golfers. Isabella Dornellas knocked four strokes from her first-round performance to card a 75 on Friday, and Devon Day went from an 80 to a 79.The other two counting scores from LSU were Lindy Hitdlebaugh's 75, following her even-par showing on Thursday, and the second straight 78 from Brooke Shelton.