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The Gators shot 57 percent overall and hit 13 of 23 3-pointers to defeat LSU 79-61 Saturday at a packed O'Connell Center.

Saturday March 1, 2014At the Buzzer: Florida 79, LSU 61 (Instant Analysis)

The Gators shot 57 percent overall and hit 13 of 23 3-pointers to defeat LSU 79-61 Saturday at a packed O'Connell Center.

Chris Harry
By Chris Harry Senior Writer


WHAT HAPPENED: The calendar flipped to March and the No. 1-ranked Gators ushered in college basketball’s most important month with its best wire-to-wire, end-to-end performance of the season. Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points off the bench, Casey Prather threw in 14 on 6-for-7 shooting and Michael Frazier rained four 3-point shots in six attempts, as UF extended its school record for consecutive wins to 21 straight and remained unbeaten through 16 games in Southeastern Conference play.

WHAT IT MEANS: Momentum more than anything. Florida clinched its second straight outright SEC championship -- and third in four seasons -- Thursday night when second-place Kentucky lost at home to Arkansas. UF is now looking to hone all facets of its game as the postseason approaches, but there’s also the matter of chasing something that’s never been done before (see below).

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The 3-point line. Florida came into the game ranked ninth in the SEC at shooting the 3-ball. UF was making just 33.0 percent against conference foes, but hit 13 of its first 21 on the way to finishing 56.3 percent on the long ball. 

STAGGERING STATISTIC: The Tigers came in ranked No. 1 in the SEC in scoring offense at 76.8 points per game in league play. They had 25 at the half, scored the second-lowest total of the season and failed to hit 70 for only the third time against conference competition.

SUBPLOT: The quest for SEC perfection continues. The Gators are trying to join Kentucky as the only league team to go unbeaten in the SEC in the last 57 years -- and the first team in college basketball history to go 18-0 in its league.

UP NEXT: The Gators (27-2, 16-0) are back on the road Tuesday night when they’ll take on South Carolina (10-18, 3-12), which started the day in a tie with Mississippi State for last place in the SEC. Unfortunately for the Gamecocks, they’re hosting a very irritated Kentucky team Saturday nigh -- and then get Florida. Lucky them.


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