GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida's Jordan Jones scored 16 points and the Gators benefited from seven made threes to hand the LSU women's basketball team its first Southeastern Conference loss and snap its 10-game winning streak by a score of 62-58 on Sunday afternoon in the O'Connell Center.
The Lady Tigers (13-4, 4-1) lost for the first time in 49 days since a 77-68 defeat at No. 18 Ohio State on Nov. 27. The win streak went down as the longest by LSU since 2007-08 and the Lady Tigers nearly recovered from a 15-point deficit with 7:39 left to play to extend the streak.
A valiant comeback sparked by the play of Courtney Jones on both ends of the floor pulled LSU to within two points, but Florida put the game away at the free throw line after the Lady Tigers misfired on back-to-back three-point attempts.
"Give Florida credit today," said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. "They stuck to a gameplan for 40 minutes. When adversity hit, players stepped up for them. They stayed together, even when we tried to make our run at the end. We are going to go back and look at the things at challenged us.
"Their offensive rebounds in the first half really set the tone for Florida. When you watch their intensity of getting on the glass in the first half, they sent a message. Hustle plays really generated that energy they needed. I was disappointed in our inability to play for 40 minutes."
The Gators (12-6, 2-3) snapped a two-game losing streak after three close defeats in SEC play. It was just Florida's second win against LSU in the past 10 years since winning in overtime in 2006. The Lady Tigers had won five in a row in the series all by double-digits. The 62 points were the most allowed by LSU since its loss to Ohio State.
Courtney Jones finished with 15 points to go along with eight rebounds. Senior forward LaSondra Barrett notched her second double-double of the season and 14th of her career with 17 points and 11 rebounds. LSU struggled offensively and shot just 36.4 percent for the game.
Florida's Jennifer George, who entered Sunday as one of the top scorers and rebounders in the SEC, was plagued with foul trouble for most of the game, but LSU was unable to take advantage of it. The Lady Tigers dug themselves a 32-25 deficit at the half as Florida converted 11 of those points on second-chance opportunities. The Gators increased the advantage to double digits and maintained it for most of the second half.
Florida led 55-41 with 6:36 on the clock until LSU scored 12 in a row to make a game of it.
Jordan Jones buried a deep three that made it 48-38, but LSU's Courtney Jones converted a pair of old fashioned three-point plays culminating at the 2:35 mark that pulled the Lady Tigers to within two at 55-53. George then converted a layup on the other end and Bianca Lutley misfired a three. Jaterra Bonds nailed two free throws and the Gators iced the game at the line in the final 1:23.
"When playing catch up there is usually a series there where you either tie it or you pull ahead, but if you don't get to that tie, it exhausts you," said Caldwell. "In three or four SEC games we have had to play catch up. We have proven that we can come back but we continue to dig ourselves a hole. Today, we weren't able to come out of that hole."
LSU plays its second straight road game when it travels to sixth-ranked Tennessee for a 6 p.m. CT Thursday tipoff. The contest will be televised by Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) and picked up by Cox 4 in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It will also be carried on the LSU Sports Radio Network on 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge and in the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net/live.
"We Back Pat" week will be celebrated throughout the SEC and its member institutions. The week-long initiative is focused on bringing awareness and recognition to the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and its fight against Alzheimer's disease.