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LSU’s loss to Florida helps Vols in Championship Game

16 March 2019

Nembhard's long 3 with 1.2 seconds to go pushed the Gators past top-seeded LSU 76-73 in the SEC quarterfinals on Friday.

"Big win for us", Mike White told reporters following the game. Three great battles this year.

"I can't get into that", Benford said. LSU is one of the best teams in the country. "They only can get better".

Kevarrius Hayes was tremendous again. I'm just saying we're good enough to be in that.

LSU looked like the better team to open up the game as they immediately jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first minute. It's been a nice couple of games for the Gators after they were pretty ineffective in that three-outing stretch.

Auburn's Jared Harper didn't attempt a single free throw in the first half.

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As for Auburn, they're 24-9 this year and on a nice six-game win streak right now.

Jump-started by a ferocious dunk by Johnson, UF went on an 11-2 run to cut their deficit to just one point. And the the two games between the schools in the regular season both went to overtime. Smart finished with 13 points off the bench. Freshman guard Andrew Nembhard's three-pointer with just one second left won it for the Gators.

Naz Reid had a quick response for LSU as his dunk gave his team the lead once again.

The Razorbacks don't have any seniors this season, and among the nine players in their regular rotation are six newcomers. Bryce Brown also chipped in 19 points with two assists for the Tigers in that one. "I'm a leader for this team, so if I want to win, I have to make game-winning plays and just lead my team".

Naz Reid led the Tigers with 26 points including a pair of late-game three pointers that appeared to give LSU the edge in their quarterfinal match-up against the Gators.

Although Nembhard missed a free throw a few possessions earlier, the freshman guard made up for it with a clutch shot at the end of the game.

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Florida fell behind 35-25 after the first half of the LSU game, but stormed back on a 51-38 clip in the second to bag a 76-73 victory and move on in the tournament. Johnson finished with 16, Hudson had 13, Allen scored 12 and Hayes had 11. "Stay in the moment", said Florida's Keyvontae Johnson, whose pass set up the game victor. "In my head I was thinking what Coach White said: Play off two feet".

"I knew he was going to hit it", said the Gators' Keyontae Johnson.

"I think for a young basketball team, I welcome the opportunity for them to continue to play", Anderson said. I'm glad he hit it. "His guys I thought played really well and executed in the second half". "I'm happy it went down, for sure".

The Gators made it to line 26 total times and converted on 16 of those opportunities, and knocked down six triples in the second half.

Auburn, which had not won an SEC tournament game since 2015 before beating Missouri on Thursday night, has not been to the tournament final since losing to Arkansas in the 2000 title game.

Tennessee controlled the four games against the Gators and Gamecocks during the season.

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No matter who they play, Florida will take the court at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.

LSU’s loss to Florida helps Vols in Championship Game