LSU impressive at Florida; Gents bomb away in rout of Southwestern


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – LSU was ripe for the pickin’ at Florida Wednesday night.

The Tigers didn’t have injured third-leading scorer Xavier Pinson. Their best player, Tari Eason, fouled out shortly after halftime and their other starting big man, Efton Reid, hit the bench early due to fouls – they combined to play just 20 minutes. LSU was 3-7 in its last 10 games against Florida and former Louisiana Tech coach Mike White. And the Gators were home in the O’Connell Center.

No wonder college basketball analyst Seth Davis called LSU’s 64-58 triumph “super impressive.” The Tigers looked every bit their No. 12 national ranking as they handled a longtime nemesis.

“Give our guys credit, we’re a tough out,” said LSU coach Will Wade. “We got guys that step up and come through. We wanted to attack that paint, and we scored 42 points in the paint. That’s an incredible win.”

The Tigers (15-1 overall, 3-1 in the SEC) got 20 points from senior Darius Days, who made 9 of 14 shots. Eric Gaines, starting for Pinson, scored 15 and Brandon Murray added 10.

The foul problems inside opened the door for the return to action of Shareef O’Neal (son of Shaq), who made his injury-delayed season debut impactful (4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block).

Florida doubled LSU in free throw attempts (22-11) but the visitors’ inside dominance was pivotal.

LSU hosts Arkansas Saturday afternoon.

In local college basketball Wednesday evening:


SOUTHWESTERN TEXAS 76, CENTENARY 63: The visitors got a game-high 32 points from Lauren Fulenwider who nailed 10 3-pointers in the game to even their record at 6-6 overall and 2-2 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Ladies (3-11, 1-5) were led by Destini Powell’s 14 points and 7 rebounds, while Amelia Bagwell tossed in 13 and Dymon Drumgo 11.


CENTENARY 105, SOUTHWESTERN TEXAS 69: The Gents hit a school-record 22 3-pointers and AJ Hall tied the individual 3-point record with 9 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference win at the Gold Dome. Hall finished with a game-high 34 points followed by Jarrell Taylor’s 19 and Jalen Behr and Seth Thomas both scored 12. Centenary improved to 7-6 overall and 3-3 in SCAC play. Kyle Poerschke led Southwestern (4-9, 1-3) with 16 points.

Photo:  Darius Days scored 20 to lead 12th-ranked LSU to a win at Florida Tuesday night. (courtesy LSU Athletics).