Martin, Temple help LSU shock FloridaFeb 25, 2007 - 1:23 AM BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Ticker) -- Three days after celebrating its fourth conference title, Florida still was suffering from a hangover.
Terry Martin scored 18 points and Garrett Temple added 17 and eight rebounds as Louisiana State stunned the third-ranked Gators with a 66-56 Southeastern Conference triumph.
The reigning national champion, Florida (24-4, 11-2 SEC East) clinched the conference title with a 63-49 victory over South Carolina on Wednesday. It was expected to roll against the struggling Tigers, who had lost nine of their previous 10 games and were without leading scorer and rebounder Glen Davis, last season's SEC Player of the Year who is suffering from a right quadriceps injury.
Al Horford, who led Florida with 13 points and nine boards, opened the scoring with a layup in the first minute. But it was the only lead the Gators would have as the Tigers (15-13, 4-10 West) scored 26 of the next 37 points and held a 34-21 advantage at the half.
"Give LSU credit," Horford said. "They came out with the right focus. They executed their game plan and they beat us. Obviously, we didn't do a good enough job executing."
Martin began the second half with a jumper, but a dunk by Joakim Noah and a three-point play by Horford drew Florida within 36-28. However, Martin and Tasmin Mitchell combined for LSU's next 11 points and Temple sank four free throws around a layup by Darnell Lazare to create the Tigers' largest lead at 53-35 with 5:03 remaining.
"Florida is a very good team," Mitchell said. "They are a top-notch team. We just came out as a team. Everybody played together. Nobody was worried about who got the goal or who took the last shot. There were no Is out there."
Layups nine seconds apart by Corey Brewer and Lee Humphrey cut the Gators' deficit to 61-53 with 1:11 to go, and a pair of foul shots by Brewer with 28 seconds left made it a seven-point game.
Temple, however, hit 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch to seal LSU's first double-digit win since a 66-49 triumph over then-No. 14 Connecticut on January 6, the last time the Tigers defeated a ranked opponent.
"He was huge," Lazare said of Temple. "At the beginning, I think he let the game come to him. He drove the ball to the basket very efficiently. He did a great job of running the offense and handling the press. Defensively, you know what you are going to get from him every night, but I think this was a great game for his confidence and in the way he was able to score the ball."
"They outplayed us in all aspects of the game," Brewer said. "They got all the hustle plays, they got all the loose balls. They did everything right. We just didn't play hard enough."
Mitchell scored 18 points and Temple added five assists for LSU, which shot 51 percent (23-of-45) and held a 20-8 advantage in rebounds at halftime.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of our players," Tigers coach John Brady said. "On defense tonight, we were as good as any team I have had. We carried out the game plan. The plan was to double-team Taurean Green on every ball screen and to double their post players. We wanted to make sure they didn't have any rhythm on offense. It worked well."
Green was held to just six points on 1-of-7 shooting.
Chris Richard scored 12 points and Brewer 11 for the Gators, who made just 2-of-17 shots from the arc and lost for the second time in three games following a 17-game winning streak.
"I don't think we competed at the level we needed to to win the game," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "I think we played against a team in LSU that had a lot of fight in them at Kentucky (on Tuesday). They had Kentucky down by 16 points and Kentucky came back to win the game at home. Our guys knew, certainly our coaches knew, that they were going to come out and play very, very well with the loss and absence of Glen Davis."
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
FLORIDA (3) 21 35 56
LSU 34 32 66 FINAL
Feb 24 6:11 PM
- NCAA BB
FLORIDA (3) 21
LSU 36 HALFTIME
Feb 24 4:48 PM
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