Updated: Allen scores 21, Florida downs No. 13 LSU

42
1613
Florida's Keyontae Johnson (11), Andrew Nembhard (2), Noah Locke (10) and Jalen Hudson (3) celebrate the Gators' 82-77 win in overtime Wednesday against LSU in in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

By Brett Martel, The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — When Florida’s KeVaughn Allen pulled up for an open 3 early in the second half at LSU, he’d been limited to just three shots and had not scored a point.

Allen’s fourth shot went down — a moment LSU coach Will Wade called “the biggest play of the game.”

“He saw the first one go in and it was over from there,” Wade said.

Allen scored 12 of his 21 points in overtime, highlighted by a pair of 3s late in the extra period, and Florida beat No. 13 LSU 82-77 on Wednesday night.

Florida coach Michael White called Allen “terrific” and “a great example” of mental toughness.

“We all struggle with it at times,” White said. “He had a couple plays that he didn’t make. And then he gets to the overtime period and he moves on to the next play, and he stays in the moment, keeps fighting. He made huge shots.”

Jalen Hudson and Noah Locke each scored 15 for Florida (15-11, 7-6 SEC), which has won three straight on the heels of competitive losses to Kentucky, Auburn and Tennessee.

The victory over LSU was Florida’s first over a ranked team after losses in its previous six such match-ups this season.

“This has got to be probably our biggest win,” Florida coach Michael White said. “Great environment, a bunch of adversity and found a way.”

Naz Reid had 16 points and 15 rebounds for LSU (21-5, 11-2), which lost for only the second time in 16 games and saw its four-game winning streak snapped.

Both of LSU’s past two losses have come at home, and a number of fans could be seen leaving during a stoppage with 47 seconds left and LSU trailing by seven.

Although LSU wound up with a chance to tie the game in the final 20 seconds, Wade said he “would have left, too.”

“It’s embarrassing we’ve lost two home games,” Wade said. “We’re 7-0 in the SEC on the road and we’ve lost two (at home). I feel terrible for our fans. It’s hard on people to work and put their money to come watch us play. It’s sickening. Sickening. Absolutely sickening.”

Skylar Mays scored 18 points for the Tigers, who saw the game begin to slip away when Allen’s consecutive 3s gave Florida a 76-70 lead with 1:12 to go.

“I continued to stay aggressive, continued to stay the course, just try to play hard on defense and hopefully it’ll spark some of my offense,” Allen said. “It was a big win, especially it being on the road. I feel like we needed it to get us going and I feel like we should just build off this game.”

DRYING UP

Tremont Waters, who has been LSU’s leading scorer this season, struggled.

With the score tied in the final seconds of regulation, he badly missed a pull-up 3.

“We didn’t do what we were supposed to do,” Wade said. “We didn’t execute there.”

And when a late steal gave LSU a chance to tie the game with less than 20 seconds left in overtime, Waters again missed from 3 to finish 3-of-12 shooting, including 2 of 8 from 3-point range.

“They did a great job taking him away,” Wade said. “Their point guard, (Andrew) Nembhard, played very, very well.”

Waters finished with 10 points, as did LSU’s Kavell Bigby-Williams and Marlon Taylor.

BIG PICTURE

Florida: The Gators arrived in Baton Rouge still holding realistic hopes of securing enough big victories to make the NCAA Tournament. A road victory against one of the hottest teams in the country should help. The Gators again demonstrated their defensive prowess and ability to compete with the SEC’s best. During regulation, Florida held LSU to nearly 19 fewer points than its average per game.

LSU: After winning each of their previous four games by five for fewer points, the Tigers were unable to pull out yet another nail-biter and moved to 3-2 in overtime this season. LSU also fell out of a tie with Tennessee for first place in the SEC and are now tied with Kentucky — a team they beat last week —for second.

“There’s a certain type team that gives us a lot of problems and whenever our season ends, wherever that is, it’s going to end just like this,” Wade said. “It’s going to be the same way because we just don’t have some of that stuff to beat some of these teams and we’re either going to develop that over the next couple weeks or that’s how it’s going to end. It’s really that simple.”

UP NEXT

Florida: Hosts Missouri at 4 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2). The game is soldout.

LSU: Hosts No. 5 Tennessee on Saturday.

Note: Florida is a perfect 11-0 when it scores at least 71 points. UF stopped a six-game losing streak to ranked opponents. Before tonight, Florida’s last win vs. a ranked opponent came against the then-No. 23 Kentucky Wildcats 80-67 on March 3, 2018.

FLORIDA 82, No. 13 LSU 77, OT
FLORIDA (15-11)

Johnson 3-5 1-2 7, Hayes 4-4 2-2 10, Nembhard 4-9 0-0 8, Locke 5-13 2-2 15, Allen 6-12 4-5 21, Stokes 1-3 0-0 2, Bassett 0-4 2-2 2, Hudson 6-13 0-0 15, Ballard 1-2 0-0 2, Okauru 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-65 11-13 82.

LSU (21-5)

Bigby-Williams 3-5 4-6 10, Reid 5-12 5-6 16, Waters 3-12 2-4 10, Taylor 4-7 0-3 10, Mays 6-12 4-4 18, Days 4-5 1-2 9, Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Smart 2-8 0-0 4. Totals 27-63 16-25 77.

Halftime_Florida 33-31. End Of Regulation_Tied 64. 3-Point Goals_Florida 11-30 (Allen 5-9, Hudson 3-7, Locke 3-9, Ballard 0-1, Nembhard 0-2, Johnson 0-2), LSU 7-22 (Taylor 2-3, Mays 2-6, Waters 2-8, Reid 1-1, Days 0-1, Smart 0-3). Fouled Out_Hayes. Rebounds_Florida 34 (Hayes 7), LSU 38 (Reid 15). Assists_Florida 12 (Nembhard 8), LSU 9 (Waters 4). Total Fouls_Florida 22, LSU 16.

42 COMMENTS

  1. Great win! It’s obvious that we need Hudson to play at this level. Also liked the way we finished the game. Looks like we are playing our best basketball when we need it. Great to see that the team hasn’t given up on the season I have to admit I was about to myself. Now lets build off of this and not get a BIG HEAD. We still have a few more important games to play before we can breath easier and go play the spoiler in the tournament. GO GATORS!

  2. That’s what I’m talking about Gators! And regardless of what the future holds, that was the best team win of the 2018-’19 season (to date). The seniors all showed up, and each in their own way. Allen sealed the deal at the end of reg. and O.T. and that’s what seniors should do. Great to be a Florida Gator tonight! Safe travels home, fellas!

  3. Freshmen no longer playing like freshmen. And Allen and Hudson stepping up and playing like the seniors we needed. Great coaching on timeout-plays and going with a small lineup in over time with the best shooters and players who can take care of the ball. Great game to watch. Hope they continue they new found team effort.

  4. Wow, what a big win. Where has this team been all year? If they played like this every game they would be 20-5. To beat a top team like LSU at home after they just knocked off Kentucky at home says something about the potential of this team.

  5. What a great road game and win for this squad!

    They’re missing some pieces and size but have the fight of two teams. The effort in this game was outstanding. I thought Hayes was key to this win and had one of his best games.

    It’s great that we won. This team has put out this kind of effort all season. If we can continue to play defense at this level and have some shots fall – it’s going to get interesting. Defeating Missouri, Georgia and Vandy would help raise the stakes.

    • If we sweep Mizzou, UGA and Vandy, I think we are in. Needed this road win of all the remaining games…beating LSU at Gainesville isn’t as impressive while winning in Rupp will be very tough. This was our best shot at a signature win and I’m glad they took advantage of it. Got to keep playing this way. If Hayes can stay out of foul trouble, Johnson keeps getting better and Hudson keeps getting back into form, we could be a dangerous team in the SEC tourney.

  6. Just home from the game. Great to see this team FIGHT! They never gave up and Pat nailed it about the rebounding. We were only out rebounded by two. Best win of the year. And the best part was watching those typical Tiger fans bailing out with a minute to go. Tonight in Galvez Louisiana it’s GREAT TO BE A FLORIDA GATOR! GO GATORS!

  7. Great win!!! You could see the confidence building at Alabama last week from literally every player – even Stokes and we need that desperately with our lack of inside presence. LSU may have been looking ahead to TN but it’s the SEC and you have to be ready every night and we beat a great team on the road. Go Gators!!!

  8. Enormous SEC road win with a team starting 3 freshmen and a team battling injuries and suffering criticism. We were out sized and over matched, yet we battled and won. It’s great to be a Florida Gator. Don’t understand LSU fans bolting for the parking lot before this one was over. Pretty lame. And I never agreed with the criticism of Mike White. When the Gators continue this excellent play and big wins, don’t be surprised if he is the SEC Coach of the Year like in 2017.

  9. that was the signaature win THE GATORS NEEDED FOR THEIR ncaa resume. Frankly, I did not expect this good offensive play until next season. Very good improvement on shooting, off-the-ball movement and a lot of offense I did not think they would learn this year but next. Somebody lit A FIRE under their orange and blue rear ends and THEY GOT IT. STILL NOT IN THE DANCE, BUT A REGULAR season finish of 21-13 with TWO or MORE wins over TOP 20 teams might get them in. If they can get some more quality victories like LSU, they can make a run. I saw a lot ofCONFIDENCE FROM HUDSON and wondered where it had been all year. Kudos to White and the Coaches for not going into panic mode halfway through the season. They saw the talent and potential was there, they just had to get it on the court in a big SEC game. Well, road wins at Alabama and especially LSU will look well on NCAA invite resume if Gators continue with wins and DO NOT GET BOUNCED IN FIRST ROUND OF SEC PLAY. I may have to cancel my flight to New York in late March cause Gators mite be elsewhere–we HOPE. Good, solid signature win.

    • It was, indeed, a signature win, cattrick. I assume you’re including the SEC tourney as regular season when you talk about finishing 21-13. If they do that, that would mean finishing 4-1 in the remaining 5 games, then going 2-1 in the SEC tourney. In that case, they’d have to beat either LSU again or UK at Rupp. If that happens, you can remove the “might”. That would put them comfortably in the tourney with the only question being their seed. They’re already at 33 in the NET rankings, and this win will likely put them inside the top 30. I think all they really have to do to get in is go 3-2 over the last 5 and maybe win 1 in the SEC tourney, but I like your scenario better.

      Speaking of “going into panic mode halfway through the season”, this game is why fans should wait before making bold predictions about how good a team is or isn’t. I remember one poster here predicting the Gators would go 7-11 in conference, because he didn’t think they were good enough to scratch out a single SEC road win. The 7-11 record still could happen, but doesn’t seem likely with the way they’re playing now.

      Congrats, Gators!!! Way to scratch, claw, and CHOMP your way to a signature win!!!

  10. CAPTAIN OBVIOUS HERE: The upcoming 3 game stretch is critical. Gators absolutely must beat Mizzou at home, Vandy on the road, then return to Gainesville to steamroll the Dogs. That would make them 18-11. Then LSU at home and a season-ending game at KY. I think they can make the dance with a 20-14 record (minimum) if they get another signature win–and win at least 2 in the SEC tourney. THAT’S THE PREDICTED MINIMUM–20-14. Less than 20 wins won’t get them in, but will give them the ‘PRESTIGIOUS’ NIT invite. We shall see how well I can forecast the remaining season. Definitely an improving offensive team, but we have seen the offense disappear during some games this season.

  11. Great win last night!! I didn’t attend the game as I thought it would be a typical performance. Lead early. Play hard. Give up lead with about 3-4 minutes left in the game. Lose lead with back and forth buckets. Eventually lose game on free throws at the end. Fumble ball out of bounds or not get a shot up to tie or win. Well they showed me!! LOL!! Very VERY impressed with them last night. They will always be in any game they play because defense travels. They’re one of the best defensive teams in the country and as long as they fight, claw, and scratch they’ll be in every game till the end. LOVED watching the tigah fans GET DONE IN AGAIN by my Gators!! All week they had this one in the bag (just like football). And in the end the good guys won (just like football). GEAUXXX GATORS!!!

  12. What impressed me the most was the way Kevaugn Allen, who was not having a very good shooting night up to that point, simply kept at it and took over the last part of regulation and then again in OT with a number of clutch 3’s and his leadership. That’s what our coach has been looking for. Hudson also played like the talented senior he is. Good work men!

  13. Well, well, well!! So all of a sudden Mike White could or should be coach of the yr, yet some of you or even a lot of you, were ready to send him packing a mere 2-3 weeks ago. This should be a learning lesson to certain fans who don’t know how be cool and patient. White is a very good coach and motivator. He has done more with less this year, so how about no more negativity towards him no matter how this plays out.