Darius Days scored 20 points as No. 12 LSU held off Florida for a 64-58 victory on Wednesday night in Gainesville, Fla., the Tigers’ third consecutive win.
Eric Gaines, who started in place of injured point guard Xavier Pinson, added 15 points while Brandon Murray scored 10 for the Tigers (15-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference). Pinson is listed as day-to-day due to a knee ailment.
LSU was hampered by committing 21 fouls compared to the Gators’ 10, but Florida made just 11 of 22 free throws.
Tari Eason, the Tigers’ leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, fouled out with 14:07 left and finished with six points and one rebound in seven minutes. Starting center Efton Reid fouled out with 7:16 left and finished with two points and three rebounds in 13 minutes.
Colin Castleton had 19 points and nine rebounds and Phlandrous Fleming Jr. added 11 points to lead the Gators (9-6, 0-3). Florida, which made just 7 of 31 three-point attempts (22.6 percent), lost for the sixth time in the past nine games.
Up by eight at halftime, LSU started the second half with consecutive layups by Eason, Days and Murray to take a 44-30 lead.
Fleming’s 3-pointer ended a 3 1/2-minute scoring drought for the Gators, but Gaines answered with two free throws.
Florida scored 10 straight points to get within 46-43, and Eason fouled out during the run.
The Tigers extended the lead to six on a jumper by Days before the Gators got within one with 6:08 to go.
Gaines’ jumper gave the Tigers a 60-56 lead with just over three minutes remaining.
Anthony Duruji cut the gap to two with a layup, but Gaines answered with a layup with 1:11 left and assisted on Alex Fudge’s dunk with 26 seconds left for a six-point edge.
LSU made five of its first six shots and Days scored nine points as the Tigers took a 12-4 lead.
The Gators scored the next five points and pulled within three points twice more before going cold.
LSU increased the lead to 27-13 before Castleton’s dunk stopped a four-plus-minute scoring drought by Florida.
The Gators got within 30-23 before Gaines made a layup to give the Tigers a 38-30 halftime lead.
–Field Level Media
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