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Saturday February 24, 2007No. 3 Florida Falls at LSU, 66-56

Baton Rouge, La.

Terry Martin scored 18 points and Garrett Temple added 17 to help struggling LSU upset No. 3 Florida 66-56 on Saturday.

 

Tasmin Mitchell scored 11 for LSU (15-13, 4-10 Southeastern Conference), which had lost three straight and nine of 10 before hosting a team that had been No. 1 little more than a week ago.

For LSU, the game offered an opportunity to salvage a good memory from an otherwise lost season. The home crowd roared its approval during the waning minutes, while the student section chanted "Over-rated," in Florida's direction.

 

Florida (25-4, 12-2), which had already wrapped up the SEC regular season title and had set a new school record for single season victories, had little riding on the game and played like it.

The Gators missed their season averages in numerous categories as they lost for the second time in three games.

Normally a 42 percent shooting team from 3-point range, the Gators were 2-of-17 (11.8 percent). They were 4-of-12 on free throws and fell 24 points short of their 80.3 season average for points.

Martin's jumper in transition ignited a decisive 8-0 LSU run that gave the Tigers their largest lead at 53-35 with about five minutes remaining.

Florida got no closer than eight points after that.

Al Horford led Florida with 13 points, while Chris Richard had 12 and Corey Brewer 11.

 

LSUís most dominant player, Glen "Big Baby" Davis, spent the game on the sideline in a pinstriped suit because of a pulled right quadriceps that also kept him out of Wednesday's 70-63 loss at Kentucky.

Through the opening 10 minutes, however, the Tigers made up for his absence with 83.3 percent shooting in building a surprising 24-12 lead. Temple hit his first four shots, including a 3-pointer, in scoring 10 points during that span.

The Tigers' accuracy tapered off during the next 10 minutes, but the intensity of their defense and rebounding remained high as LSU maintained a double-digit lead.

LSU outrebounded Florida 20-8 in the opening half and held the Gators to 39.1 percent shooting during the period.

 

The Gators trimmed their deficit to 28-17 on Brewer's 3-pointer. But Magnum Rolle hit a tough leaner and dunked soon after, then Dameon Mason sank an off-balance running hook before Brewer's runner cut LSUís lead to 34-21 at halftime.

 

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