BATON ROUGE, La. – Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton each scored 17 points and No. 14 Florida moved back into a tie for the overall Southeastern Conference lead with a 68-61 victory over LSU on Sunday.
Their fifth consecutive win puts the Gators (21-5, 10-2) in a tie with Alabama with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
Walker made three 3-pointers and all four of his free throw attempts. Boynton was 5 of 12 from the field and made six of his seven foul shots.
Vernon Macklin added 16 points and seven rebounds for Florida, which played without starting forward Chandler Parsons, who has a thigh bruise.
Ralston Turner scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half for the Tigers (10-17, 2-10), who have lost 10 straight.
Two scoring spurts enabled Florida to take a 15-point halftime lead. Ahead 9-8 lead, the Gators ran off 10 consecutive points with all but two coming from reserves Patric Young and Erik Murphy. The other points came on a field goal by Boynton.
LSU pulled within 21-16 after a 3-pointer by Aaron Dotson. Florida then outscored the Tigers 11-3 over a 5-minute span. Boynton connected on two shots, one a 3-pointer, and Macklin made two field goals.
A basket by Walker completed the outburst and gave the Gators a 32-19 lead with 5:47 remaining in the first half. Macklin made two shots in the final 5 minutes as Florida took a 40-25 lead.
LSU reduced its deficit to 42-34 as Turner knocked down a 3-pointer and made two of three free throws after being fouled on another 3-point attempt.
The Gators stopped the Tigers' run with six straight points. Walker connected on a 3-pointer, Macklin made one free throw and Boynton added two more. LSU made one last run at Florida inside the 9-minute mark.
A three-point play by Macklin put the Gators in front 58-46 with 9:01 remaining. The Tigers held Florida scoreless for almost 6 minutes. Matt Derenbecker hit a 3-pointer and Garrett Green made one of two free throws. A jumper by Turner left LSU behind 58-52.
Florida's scoring drought ended when Boynton made a layup after a steal by Macklin. The Tigers got within 60-54 on a basket by Daron Populist, but the Gators made six consecutive free throws — four by Walker — in the last 2 minutes.