Florida and LSU had split a pair of overtime games in the regular season, so it’s no surprise their battle today in the SEC Tournament went down to the wire. The teams traded clutch shots in the final minute before the Gators came out on top, 76-73.
The top-seeded Tigers had the upper hand in the first half, going into the break leading by 10. But Florida fought back in the second, and momentum swung their way on a six-point possession with 3:45 remaining, which put them up 66-63. The teams swapped leads from there, and with 1:02 remaining, LSU stud Naz Reid hit a three to knot the game at 70-all.
Florida would pick up three free throws to go up 73-70, but Reid answered again, draining another long-range shot to tie with 13 seconds left. The 6-foot-10 freshman had 26 points, which doubled his next highest-scoring teammate, and 14 boards.
But Reid wasn’t the hero. Instead, it was Florida freshman guard Andrew Nembhard, who’s typically far from the Gators’ first scoring option but led the team with 20 points today. A drive from Keyontae Johnson opened up Nembhard at the top of the circle, and he knocked down the monumental shot like he’s been doing this his whole life.
Florida’s win takes them off the bubble and safely into the tournament. LSU’s quarterfinal loss—after winning the SEC outright thanks to a relatively easy schedule and a few lucky breaks—means they’ll have plenty of questions facing them next week.