Erik Murphy backed his first-team All-SEC honor with a career day on the court as the Florida men’s basketball team cruised past LSU 80-58 on Friday in the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville.
Subtract the opening minutes, and this quarterfinal game was never close. The Gators (25-6) steamrolled the Tigers (19-12) for the second time this year.
Murphy scored 15 of his game and career-high 27 points in the first half. The senior forward also added 12 rebounds and now has two straight games with a double-double. Murphy himself says the push these past few days in practice has really carried over.
Another senior who hasn’t been too hot lately is Kenny Boynton. In his prior six games Boynton has shot 32.8 percent from the floor. Friday’s game wasn’t any better. The guard went just 1 for 7 on the day and 0 for 4 beyond the arc. Florida head coach Billy Donovan isn’t concerned with the recent trend as long as he and any other struggling player do the other things well.
Donovan mentions Wilbekin’s struggles, but this game was different. Wilbekin seems to be back on track as he had 16 points including 4 of 5 from three-point land. Patric Young also had a decent day as he had 10 points and six rebounds. Adding a spark off the bench for Florida was Michael Frazier II as he had 11 points and five boards. Frazier also set the tone at the end of the half. With Florida already in a commanding lead, the reserve shot a last second buzzer beating three to put Florida up 15 going into the break. Donovan enjoyed the play and was glad that it carried over to the second half.
For LSU, only one player scored in double figures. Charles Carmouche had 14 points on 4 of 10 shooting. Of course, losing by 22 means shots just weren’t falling. The team combined to go 18 for 54. If there was any bright spot for the Bayou Bengals in came in the form of three point shooting. LSU shot 47.4 percent from long distance.
Up next for the Gators will be fourth seeded Alabama as they knocked off Tennessee just hours after the Florida game. The semifinal matchup can be heard on Country 103-7 The Gator starting at 12:25 pm Saturday.