Hudson scores 18, Florida beats LSU 73-64 to end SEC skid

By AP, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Jalen Hudson scored 18 points, including a crucial, three-point play with 1:15 remaining, and Florida beat LSU 73-64 to end a three-game losing streak in Southeastern Conference play Wednesday night.

Keith Stone added 15 points for the Gators, who played considerably better than they did in an 18-point loss to Alabama four days earlier.

Florida (16-8, 7-4 SEC) got back on defense, had improved ball movement and shot selection, and even outscored the Tigers (13-10, 4-8) in the paint. The Gators looked much more like the ranked team that won eight of nine last month than the one that dropped four of its previous seven.

Of course, it came against an LSU team that has dropped six of eight and four straight on the road.

The Tigers were coming off a 94-point effort against Arkansas and opened up a nine-point lead early in the game and were up 33-31 at halftime.

But Florida, which coach Mike White felt wore down in the second half of its last two losses, responded with some life after the break. White played guys off the bench more minutes than usual in hopes of saving the legs of starters Chris Chiozza, Hudson, Stone and Egor Koulechov.

Florida shot 57 percent in the second half and hit four of the team's six 3-pointers.

Koulechov finished with 12 points, and backup guard Mike Okauru chipped in nine off the bench.

Brandon Sampson led LSU with 17 points thanks mostly to four 3-pointers. Leading scorer Tremont Waters had nine points on 3-of-15 shooting, including 1 of 9 from 3-point range.

Florida took over down the stretch. Down 59-58 with a little more than 6 minutes to play, Hudson scored eight of the team's final 15 points to seal the victory.

BIG PICTURE

LSU: The Tigers need Waters to play better to have a chance. The dynamic freshman showed flashes of play-making ability, but his seven turnovers stuck out as much as his seven rebounds and six assists.

Florida: Coach Mike White went 11 games without taking off his sports coat. He did it early in the game against LSU and might not go back to the buttoned-up look again.

UP NEXT

LSU: Hosts Mississippi on Saturday. The Rebels have dropped four in a row and six of seven.

Florida: Plays at South Carolina on Saturday. The Gamecocks are 0-4 since winning in Gainesville last month.