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Florida 74, LSU 52: Gators flex in second half, rout Tigers

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You can't beat Florida without beating Florida for 40 minutes. LSU definitely didn't do that on Saturday.

Stacy Revere

Florida looked sluggish and undermanned through most the first half in Baton Rouge against LSU on Saturday. And then the Gators woke up, flexed, and sped away to a 74-52 victory.

The Gators ripped off a 31-6 run that spanned the last 5:39 of the first half and first 7:31 of the second half and flipped the game from a 19-19 tie to a 50-25 Florida lead, and was never truly threatened afterward, despite briefly struggling with an LSU press that helped the Tigers slice into the lead.

Kenny Boynton led all scorers with 20 points, and Patric Young (14 points) and Erik Murphy (12 points) joined Boynton among Florida starters in double figures. Will Yeguete's 10 points and 13 rebounds (six offensive) off the bench gave him his third career double-double.

Florida's defense was the Gators' key to victory on the day, as it held LSU to 32.3 percent shooting from the field, and allowed just 11 offensive rebounds on 44 missed shots. But the Florida offense was strong in the second half, scoring 45 points, and Florida's offensive rebounding was excellent, with the Gators snagging 16 second chances on 35 misses.

Florida improved to 12-2 on the season and 2-0 in SEC play with the win. The Gators next play on Thursday, when they travel to Texas A&M to take on an Aggies squad that just defeated Kentucky at Rupp Arena by an 83-71 count. Elston Turner's 40 points paced the Aggies, who handed Kentucky its first home loss in conference play under John Calipari.