Will Wade-less Tigers fall to Florida, 76-73, in SEC Tournament

Will Wade-less Tigers fall to Florida, 76-73, in SEC Tournament

"But the bottom line is we didn't win enough to get into the NCAA Tournament". Three great battles this year.

"It obviously affected us to an extent, not having him there", Waters said of Wade. LSU is one of the best teams in the country. They did a good job of executing on the offensive end.

"It definitely shifts the momentum and it slows the game down, which is much better for them at the pace they play", LSU junior guard Skylar Mays said of that sequence.

Kevarrius Hayes was tremendous again.

LSU looked like the better team to open up the game as they immediately jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first minute.

The two halves for both LSU and Florida were polar opposites.

Even though Dontay Bassett connected on a couple of free throws, the Gators had struggles in this department for the first 20 minutes of game time. Over the same stretch, Florida shot 34.5 percent from the floor and made just 2-of-15 from behind the arc. These two teams played a pair of overtime games during the regular season.

The Tigers extend their lead to five points after a jumper by Javonte Smart and a layup by Marlon Taylor.

Stephanie Keith  Getty Images
Stephanie Keith Getty Images

Reid was called for a push foul on a Florida player, a second Gator player was attempting a three-point shot behind the foul and was awarded the shot and make as well as the foul.

Naz Reid had a quick response for LSU as his dunk gave his team the lead once again. Chris Silva led SC with 27 points and 11 rebounds, while Felipe Haase and Tre Campbell each added 12 points.

"In the postseason, I think these tournament games come down to guard play", Harper told The Associated Press. "I'm a leader for this team, so if I want to win, I have to make game-winning plays and just lead my team".

Seconds later, LSU star Naz Reid buried a triple to tie things at 73-all, part of a 26-point effort for the freshman before he was one-upped by Nembhard.

Nembhard, left, of Aurora, Ont., hugs teammate Jalen Hudson after hitting the game-winner. The Gators eliminated the top seed in this tournament Friday with a 76-73 quarterfinal upset of No. 9 LSU. Nembhard finished with 20 points, one off his season high, as all five Gators starters finished in double figures and accounted for all but four of their points. Johnson finished with 16, Hudson had 13, Allen scored 12 and Hayes had 11. White credited the two freshmen with good decisions. Passed it to Andrew and he hit a big shot. My team is going to go as I go. I'm glad he hit it.

Suffice it to say Gafford listened to those opinions in the latter camp, the people who thought he had some work left to do before he should even consider the National Basketball Association. As for when he found out he was playing Friday, "I found out this morning. I'm happy it went down, for sure".

The 3-pointer counted. Allen's technical free throws counted. But the Gators kept shooting 3s and went 6 of 13 in the second half.

The Florida Gators and the Auburn Tigers will match up on the college basketball circuit Saturday in the SEC Tournament.

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