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Feb 7, 2018; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators forward Kevarrius Hayes (13) and guard Egor Koulechov (4) are congratulated by fans as they beat the LSU Tigers during the second half at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Snaps Two-Game Losing Streak With 73-64 Win Over LSU

The Florida Gators ended Wednesday night’s game on a 13-3 run over the final 5 minutes and 26 seconds of the contest, taking down LSU at Exactech Arena, 73-64. The Gators snapped their two-game losing streak in large part to Jalen Hudson and Egor Koulechov’s exceptional play down the stretch. The duo combined for 23 of Florida’s final 42 points. Hudson paced the team with 18 points on 7-13 shooting from the field, leading the team in scoring for the first time since January 24 vs. South Carolina.

Florida outscored LSU in the final twenty minutes, 42-31, and shot 57.1% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc in the second half. Aggressive defense down the stretch forced the Tigers to miss 9 of their final 11 shots. The Gators will have two days off before taking on the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia on Saturday at Noon.

Final Five Thoughts

  • 1. Florida’s Best Gameplan is Run, Run and Run Some more: The Gators came out of the half on a 17-3 run, effectively running up and down the floor. Florida finished the contest with 21 points off of 16 LSU turnovers and filled passing lanes extremely well during the final twenty minutes. UF forced at least 15 turnovers for the third time in four games on Wednesday night. Florida’s best offense is in essence defense.
  • 2. UF Started to Finally Attack the Basket: Instead of standing around the three-point line, the Gators started to drive to the rack and try and pick up easy points at the free throw line. While Florida only made 65% of their shots at the charity stripe, it was only the third time in seven games that the Gators took 20 or more free throw attempts. UF also outscored LSU 34-22 in the paint and shot 52% from the floor on the night. The Gators had their best shooting night, field goal percentage wise, since November 23 vs. Stanford. Attacking the basket also opens up easier three-point opportunities late in the game for Florida.
  • 3. Gators Made Stopping Waters a Priority: Florida held LSU’s most prolific scorer to just 9 points on 3-15 shooting from the field and 1-9 shooting from beyond the arc. Waters also tied his career-high in giveaways with 7 turnovers. When you stop Waters, you effectively stop the Tigers’ halfcourt offense.
  • 4. Aggressive Keith Stone: Keith Stone scored 11 of Florida’s first 18 points and started 4-4 from the field. Stone passed up contested three-pointers to drive to the basket and aggressively attack the rim, which seemed to be a pattern with the entire Gators team on Wednesday night. When Stone is able to effectively drive to the basket it gives some added space to the rest of his teammates. He also committed no turnovers in 26 minutes of play vs. LSU.

  • 5. Rebounding Team Effort: Six different Gators recorded at least three rebounds on Wednesday night. Florida made a commitment to aggressive defensive rebounding and limited LSU to only 7 offensive rebound, the lowest total given up to an opponent since January 6 vs. Missouri. With Egbunu out longer than expected, the Gators need to make an effort to send at least four guys to the boards on every possession. The strategy was effective vs. the Tigers.

Gator Bites

Mike White on Florida getting to the rim on Wednesday night vs. LSU:

Mike White said Jalen Hudson played as hard on Wednesday night as he has this season in a game or practice: 

Mike White on Michael Okauru’s effective performance off the bench:

Mike White on his team’s poise and toughness down the stretch:

Mike White on Keith Stone’s solid effort on Wednesday night:

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