Instant Analysis: All-Around Effort Results in Statement Win

Feb 27, 2020 | 0 comments

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Entering Wednesday night, the Florida Gators (18-10, 10-5) found themselves in need of a resume boosting win with March Madness just around the corner. After a nearly complete effort, the Gators have just that, beating the LSU Tigers (19-9, 10-5) 81-66.

After a strong first half, the Gators kept their foot on the gas in the second to run away with the victory.

Here is our Instant Analysis.

What Went Right: The Gators hit the ground running from the opening tip and it was a major reason they were able to get the big win. Florida opened things up on a 9-0 run and controlled the game for the majority of the first half.

The Gators shot an impressive 56% from the field in the first half which resulted in a 10-point lead at the break. They were able to hold on in the second, but Florida’s first half set the tone in this one.

Florida finished the game shooting 55% from the field.

He Stole The Show: It was a whole lot of Keyontae Johnson and then some for the Gators. The sophomore has had a huge year for Florida and he continued his torrid pace as of late.

Johnson was seemingly unguardable in the first half, on his way to 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field. He would finish with a career-high 25 points while grabbing 11 rebounds, to notch his 11th career double-double.

His side-kick Wednesday night would turn out to once again be Andrew Nembhard. After a quiet first, Nembhard tood matters into his own hands in the second, scoring 14 of his 17 total points after the break.

Known primarily for his defense, Scottie Lewis had an efficient night shooting the rock, scoring a career-high 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

These Numbers Don’t Lie: Live-and-die by the three, right? That’s long been the case for the Gators but not in this one. Florida couldn’t get hot from beyond the arc against the Tigers until late in the second half, but they had their way in the paint.

Through the course of the season, Florida hasn’t been a team that relies on getting it done inside. Going against a team that has large success in the paint, the Gators were able to win that battle. Florida outscored LSU 48-38 in the paint, as they were able to get close looks all night when their shots from range weren’t falling.

The Bottom Line: This was a great response from the Gators after dropping a close one against Kentucky this past weekend. As mentioned, they were in search of a key win to add to their resume and this blowout victory over LSU check’s that box. Entering the week as a projected 9-seed, this helps Florida a ton.

With that being said, there’s still work to be done for the Gators. There’s still three regular season games remaining and there’s no doubt they’re all winnable. This win didn’t seal Florida’s fate in making the dance, but it made their chances that much better.

Up Next: The Gators will get two days off before heading to Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday. After a great season a year ago, the Vols haven’t had the same fortune as they are likely going to miss the NCAA Tournament, giving the Gators a good chance to notch another in the win-column. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. with coverage on ESPN2.



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