Standing at the podium following
Saturday's game versus
"We ain't dead yet," Brady said, quoting the late Lemons. "I don't know why, but that stuck in my head today."
The Tigers looked far from dead
Saturday when LSU dominated
LSU (15-13, 4-10 SEC) held
"On defense tonight we were as good as any team I have ever had," Brady said. "The things Garrett Temple did, it doesn't get any better than that."
"I didn't think we competed at the
level we needed to win the game," said
One thing was certain coming into this game; LSU would be without junior forward Glen Davis, who is the league's sixth leading scorer as well as the top rebounder in the SEC.
"It is amazing that the leading rebounder on their team and maybe the league leading rebounder in Glen Davis and he is not on the floor," Donovan said, "and we are out-rebounded by 13 in the game."
In Davis' absence, the Tigers got a tenacious effort from forwards Magnum Rolle, Darnell Lazare, Dameon Mason and Tasmin Mitchell, who combined for 29 points and 18 rebounds, as well as limiting the Gators' Joakim Noah to a season low four points.
"We outrebounded them even though we were overmatched inside," Brady said. "Darnell Lazare, Magnum Rolle, Dameon Mason and Tasmin Mitchell were warriors tonight."
Florida (25-4, 12-2), who had previously been ranked No. 1 in the nation prior to last week's loss to Vanderbilt, shot 44.7-percent form the field (39.1 in the first half), made just 2 of 17 three pointers and converted only 12 of 22 free throws.
"We really wanted to shut down the post and shut down Taurean Green, and that is what we did tonight," Mitchell said. "We just came out as a team. Everybody played together. Nobody was worried about who got the goal or who took the last shot. There were no "I's" out there tonight."
LSU took a 34-21 lead into halftime and led by as many as 18 points with 5:03 left to play in the game. But the Gators mounted a late charge and got as close as eight points at three different times down the stretch.
But the Tigers, who have struggled the closing minutes of games this season, did not falter.
"I was coaching so hard and trying to do everything I could in the last five minutes to make sure we won the game," Brady said. We got upset with each other a little bit, but we all hugged after it was over. Close games are where it is and we haven't won enough of them."
Brady, who admitted he got emotional with his team in the locker room afterwards, praised his team's heart and character in the game, despite the amount of disappointing losses this season.
"I was so emotional when I was talking to them after tonight's game that I couldn't even finish talking," Brady said. "I can't tell you how proud I am of our players. I have never said that our spirit was broke or that we didn't believe in each other. "
Lazare said losing close games this season has taken its toll on Brady and he felt for his coach when he got emotional afterwards.
"He was just excited that we won," Lazare said. "The season has been long and we have played a lot of close games and we haven't been able to close some games out. This was huge for our confidence and just to get back on the winning side."
The Tigers won the opening tip when Rolle swatted the ball away from Noah. But LSU failed to capitalize on the offensive end and Horford banged in a layup for the first points of the game.
But Rolle got things going on LSU's
second offensive possession slamming home a dunk. Speaking of dunks, Noah missed
an easy slam on the other end, which
After a jumper by Brewer, Martin nailed a three pointer on the other end for an 8-4 Tiger advantage at the 18-minute mark.
Horford bricked a jump shot and Martin got the loose ball, advanced it up the floor to a wide open
Horford got a layup to fall on the
Gators' following possession, but
Humphrey got whistled for traveling
Mitchell extended LSU's lead to 10 points with a driving layup around Horford and a 16-6 LSU lead. But Chris Richard finessed in a hook shot over Rolle and cut it back to eight.
With the shot clock winding down, Temple pulled up a 30-foot three-point attempt, which he drained for LSU's largest lead of the game, an 11-point, 19-8 lead with 13:05 left in the first half.
Both teams missed easy dunks, Rolle on a wide-open ally-oop and Brewer on an uncontested run-out. Mitchell then took the ball up the floor and pulled the trigger from way down town, burying a three-ball for a 22-12 LSU lead at the 11:40 mark.
Midway through the first half
(10:20), LSU was shooting 83.3-percent from the floor (10 of 12).
Dameon Mason grabbed a rebound off a missed Rolle shot and slammed it home over Noah for a 26-13 lead at the 7:55 mark. LSU led by 13 – 26-13 – heading into the final the third media timeout of the first half.
After grabbing an offensive rebound, Mason passed the ball to Martin who kicked it out to a wide open Voogd who drained jumper from the left wing as LSU took a 28-13 lead with 6:10 left to play in the opening half.
After back to back misses from
three-point territory by Martin, Brewer hit a three-ball for the Gators as
Noah scored his first points of the
game when Brewer nabbed an offensive board and dished it inside. Noah banged in
the layup and drew a foul from Voogd as
With five seconds left on the shot
The Tigers grabbed back to back offensive rebounds under the two-minute mark, the second by Lazare who was fouled. After running the game clock under a minute, Mason drained an acrobatic hook shot over Jonathan Mitchell for a 34-19 LSU advantage.
LSU led 34-21 at the break.
Martin opened the second half with a difficult jump shot from the corner as LSU took a 36-21 lead. But Horford answered with a layup and kind iron on the other end.
Noah cut it to 11 points – 36-25 – with a monstrous dunk over Rolle. Noah hung on the rim a little longer than he needed to which sparked the ire of Tiger fans.
Horford hit a spinning layup at the 15:41 mark of the first half cutting the LSU lead to nine points 36-27 and drew a foul from Rolle. Horford sank the free throw converting the three-point play as the Gators trimmed the lead to eight.
But Martin answered Florida's three-point play with a three-pointer from just in front of the LSU bench as the Tigers pushed the lead back to 11 – 39-28.
Green stole a pass from
Coming out of the timeout, Mitchell found some kind iron as he got the roll on a turnaround jumper and an 11-point, 41-30 LSU lead.
Again Mitchell found very kind iron as he hit an off-balance layup which rolled in for a 12-point lead – 43-31. But Brewer answered on the other end with a short jumper getting it back to 10 - 43-33 – heading into the second media timeout with 10:58 left in the game.
Martin ended a three-minute scoring drought for both teams knocking in a jump shot from the left wing. But as quick as LSU could score Richard answered on the other end and the game remained a 10-point LSU lead with 8:45 left in the game.
As Florida went to the full court press, Mitchell broke the Gators pressure, advanced the ball up the floor to Martin, who drilled a pull up jump shot giving LSU a 47-35 lead with 7:40 to go in the game.
LSU led by a dozen – 47-35 - going into the third media timeout at the 7:05 mark.
A spinning hook shot by Lazare around Richard pushed the lead to 16 points with the Tigers up 51-35 with 6:20 left in regulation.
Horford made the front end of a one and one cutting the game to 15 points 53-38. But after missing the second, Noah got the rebound, kicked it inside to Richard. Richard converted the layup, drew the foul and headed to line went a chance to cut the lead to 12 points.
Mitchell missed the free throw as LSU clung to a 53-40 advantage with 4:02 to go. On the other end, Lazare made the second half of two free throws and got it back to 14, 54-40, with 3:36 left in regulation.
Green got it back to a dozen – 54-42 - with a couple of free throws at the 3:25 mark. And LSU failed to answer when he bricked a pair on the other end.
Richard then got it to 10 points with a jump shot on the other end and with 2:54 to play, the Gators trailed 54-44 and Donovan called a quick timeout.
Lazare poured it on though when
Mitchell grabbed a
Brewer answered LSU with a running layup on the other prompting another Donovan timeout as the Gators trailed 57-46 with 2:03 to go in the contest.
The Tigers played keep away coming
out of the timeout and
Humphrey, though, gave the Gators some hope knocking down a three-pointer from the far corner and got it to 10 points – 59-49 at the 1:26 mark.
Martin managed a pair of free throws getting back to a dozen, 61-49. But Brewer responded with a layup, then stole the inbound pass from Mitchell. He zipped it over to Humphrey who put up the uncontested layup cutting the lead to eight points 61-53.
Martin made the second of two free
throws on the other end raising the lead back to nine – 62-53. Richard converted
one of two free throws for
Brewer got a gift when Martin was called for a blocking foul and made sank both free throws cutting LSU's lead to seven points 63-56 with 28.7 second left in regulation.
But two shots from the charity stripe again gave the Tigers a nine-point lead, up 65-56 with 21 ticks left on the clock.
LSU grabbed a defensive
rebound and Richard fouled