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LSU Defeats The Gators, 96-91

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

LSU came out victorious on Saturday night in the battle of the backsliders. The Tigers looked dominant all night until the final minutes. They led 40-29 at halftime, and led by double digits most of the second half. The Gators came within one possession in the final minute, but Antonio Blakeney made six straight free throws to seal the game for LSU.

Antonio Blakeney had a career night, scoring a personal best 32 points. Ben Simmons had his 24th straight game with double digits, with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Florida's John Egbunu also had a career-high 22 points on Saturday, but he missed seven free throws. The Gators lost their third straight game.

LSU (17-12, 10-6 SEC) kept on pace for a double bye in the SEC Tournament with two regular season games remaining. The Tigers looked like a different team from what they have been for the past three weeks. LSU made 55.7% of their shots from the field, and 69.7% on free throws. Those percentages are only slightly higher than LSU's season averages (.465 FG%, .659 FT%), but the pace and timing of the game was much improved. The team played with chemistry and made clutch free throws and baskets when they needed to. Unfortunately for LSU, it may be too little too late for the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers will need to win their remaining two regular season games, vs. Missouri and at Kentucky, plus have a impressive showing in the SEC Tournament, to have a chance of playing in late March.

LSU will face Missouri on Tuesday at 8 PM in Baton Rouge. The game will be televised on The SEC Network.