Gainesville, FL – The 17th-ranked Florida Gators seek their third straight victory, as they welcome the LSU Tigers to Gainesville for an SEC showdown at the O'Connell Center.
Billy Donovan's Gators are hoping to build off their first true road win of the season after topping South Carolina in Columbia last weekend, 79-65. The victory was the second straight and fourth in the last five games for Florida. The Gators have been unbeatable at home thus far, sporting a 9-0 record in Gainesville.
The Tigers would also like to start heating up over the next few weeks and posting a 65-58 win over Auburn in overtime this week is a step in the right direction. LSU moved to 12-6 overall and 2-2 in league play with the victory.
LSU holds a 60-39 lead in the all-time series with Florida, but the Gators have won the last two meetings.
The Tigers received a strong all-around game from Anthony Hickey, who finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the overtime win against Auburn. Justin Hamilton added 13 points and eight rebounds, while Ralston Turner and Storm Warren tacked on 13 and 11 points, respectively. LSU has struggled with consistency at the offensive end this year and comes into this game averaging a modest 67.2 ppg on a pedestrian .404 shooting. Center Justin Hamilton leads the team in scoring (13.3 ppg), rebounding (7.5 rpg) and blocks (29). Andre Stringer is the only other Tiger currently averaging double digits at 10.8 ppg. Hickey is just under the mark at 9.6 ppg but leads the team in both assists (72) and steals (43).
Sophomore Will Yeguete got a rare start for Florida and made the most of it, shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor, finishing with 14 points and eight rebounds in Florida's first road win of the season, a 14-point win over South Carolina. Five other Gators finished in double figures in a balanced offensive effort. Kenny Boynton finished with 15 points. Bradley Beal added 14 points, Erik Murphy and Erving Walker tacked on 11 points apiece, while Mike Rosario chipped in with 10 points. Overall. Florida shot 53.2 percent from the floor, including an impressive 12-of-24 from behind the arc. Florida is a strong offensive squad, leading the SEC in scoring at 82.6 ppg. All five starters are averaging double figures, led by Boynton. One of the nation's premier snipers, Boynton is netting 18.7 ppg, thanks in large part to his .458 shooting from three-point range (66-of-144). Beal (14.3 ppg) and Walker (12.9 ppg) provide plenty of backcourt depth, while balance up front comes from Patric Young (11.4 ppg) and Murphy (10.3 ppg).