Lady Tigers hold off Florida 85-71

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – After holding a 27-point lead with just over eight minutes to play in the game, LSU's eight-ranked women's basketball team hung on to defeat Florida, 85-71, on Sunday afternoon in the O'Connell Center.

The Lady Tigers (18-3, 7-0 SEC) led 72-45 with 8:30 left before the Gators (14-8, 3-4 SEC) outscored LSU 26-13 to finish the game. The closest Florida got was the final margin of 14 points.

"I am happy to get a victory, but not very happy with our play in the second half," LSU head coach. Van Chancellor said. "I give Florida a lot of credit. They played hard and had a lot of fight in them."

Quianna Chaney led LSU with 19 points on 7-12 shooting and four of eight from 3-point range. Erica White and Allison Hightower added 14 points each, while Mesha Williams scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the victory.

LSU jumped out to an early lead again, scoring the first seven points of the game on an Ashley Thomas jumper, a RaShonta LeBlanc lay-up and a three-pointer by Chaney. The Lady Tigers built a 12-1 lead and Florida did not score it's first field goal until a Jennifer Mosser's three-pointer with 15:36 left in the half.

Florida was able to cut the Lady Tigers' lead down to four at 15-11 with 13:31 left, but LSU answered with a 7-0 run to retake a double digit lead.

The Lady Tigers largest lead in the first half was 45-26 right before halftime. LSU led 45-28 at the break.

"We were really good offensively today," Chancellor added. "Especially in the first half."

LSU shot 59.4 percent from the floor in the first half, but managed just 35.1 percent in the second half to finish the game at 46.4 percent.

Florida shot 38.2 percent for the game and connected on 24 of 28 free throws.

The Gators also won the battle of boards, 39-36, but committed 19 turnovers that were converted into 16 LSU points.

Sylvia Fowles scored nine points and grabbed three rebounds before leaving the game early in the second half after getting hit on her right knee. She was able to return to the game, but was not needed.

Marshee Dotson led Florida with 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Depree Bowden added 15 points.

LSU will travel to Tuscaloosa on Thursday to face Alabama in Coleman Coliseum at 6 p.m. CST.

GAME NOTES

- LSU led by 17 points at halftime today and has now led the seven SEC games by an average of 19.0 points at the break.

- Florida scored 28 first-half points; the most LSU has allowed in a first half in SEC play this season. The Lady Tigers have allowed only 19.1 points in the first half of the seven league games, including UF's 28 today.

- With LSU's eight 3-point baskets tonight, the Lady Tigers have now made at least three 3-pointers in each of the last 12 games dating back to the Illinois-Chicago game on Dec. 18.

- Quianna Chaney has scored at least 10 points in each of the last 12 games with her 19 points tonight. The double figure scoring game is her 18th of the season and the 57th of her career.

- Erica White scored in double figures for the fourth game this season and the 23rd game of her career with a season-high 16 points today.

- Allison Hightower scored in double figures for the ninth game this season and the 14th game of her career with 14 points today.

- Mesha Williams grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds today, her first double figure rebound game of the season and the second game of her career.

- Quianna Chaney moved up to 21st on LSU's career scoring list with her 19 points today. She passed Lesa Thornton and now has 1123 Points in her career.


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