No. 23 Lady Tigers Beat Florida by 40
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Senior guard Allison Hightower scored a game-high 19 points, and LSU's daunting defense held Florida to 19.6 percent shooting as the 23rd-ranked Lady Tigers snapped a two-game losing streak with a 70-30 win over the Gators on Thursday night at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
LSU (16-7, 5-6 Southeastern Conference) defeated Florida for the fourth consecutive time dating back to 2007. All four of the victories have come by double-digits. The Lady Tigers held the Gators to their lowest point total in series history, eclipsing the previous low of 34 in 1986.
Florida (13-11, 6-5) lost for just the second time in the past five games after entering Thursday's play with a share of third place in the SEC standings. The Gators finished with their lowest point total of the SEC season.
"We played extremely well tonight," LSU head coach Van Chancellor said. "We have pushed the team for a few days and we came in here ready to play. Florida was third in the league and playing well. We jumped out on them and cut off everything they tried to do offensively tonight. That might have been the best defense we've had all year."
After surrendering over 100 points in the first time since 1997, the SEC's No. 1 defense returned to form as LSU held Florida to its lowest field goal percentage of the season and its fewest point total in series history. It was the lowest point total by an SEC opponent on the Lady Tigers since LSU allowed
Hightower finished 8-of-13 from the floor and 3-of-3 from 3-point range with three steals in 22 minutes. The SEC Preseason Player of the Year played only two minutes in the second half but was lifted during a 7-0 run to start the period that put the game out of reach.
LaSondra Barrett and Courtney Jones each chipped in 11 points, and freshman Adrienne Webb came off the bench for a career-high 13 points on 3-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. Florida did not have a player register double-figures in scoring.
The Lady Tigers took it right to the Gators in the first four minutes with a 10-0 run. Eight of the points came from Hightower who knocked down a pair of treys as she extended her consecutive games streak with a 3-pointer to nine.
With the score 19-11 in favor of LSU, the Lady Tigers outscored Florida 15-2 the remainder of the half. Webb's 3-pointer extended the lead to 28-11, Barrett had two layups and Swayze Black got into the scoring action with a layup on an assist from Destini Hughes. LSU led 34-13 at the break.
The Lady Tigers picked up right where they left off in the first two minutes on a Hughes layup and Hightower's third trey of the evening. The overwhelming lead grew to 43 points on a Jones jumper with 11:56 to go. It was LSU's largest margin of the contest.
The Lady Tigers will go for two in a row on the road when they travel to take on Auburn at 3 p.m. CST Sunday. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Net and broadcast on the LSU Sports Radio Network.