LSU meets No. 1 Florida Saturday afternoon in Gainesville

Photo provided by staff
Friday, February 28, 2014 - 3:16pm

The LSU men’s basketball team travels here to the O’Connell Center for a nationally-televised Southeastern Conference basketball clash with the 2014 league champions, top-ranked Florida Saturday afternoon.

The game is set for a 4 p.m. EST tip (3 p.m. Baton Rouge time) and will be televised on CBS with Vern Lundquist and Bill Raftery on the call. Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and studio host Kevin Ford will have the call on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (WDGL 98.1 FM, Baton Rouge; KSYL 970 AM, Alexandria; WBOX 92.9 FM, Bogalusa; KFNV 107.1 FM, Ferriday; KJIN 1490 AM/KCIL 96.7 FM, Houma;
KJNA 102.7 FM, Jena; KLWB 103.7 FM, Lafayette; KXZZ 1580 AM, Lake Charles; KJAE 93.5 FM, Leesville; KMLB 540 AM, Monroe; KFRA 1390AM, Morgan City; KWLV 107.1 FM Natchitoches; WWL 870, AM/105.3 FM, New Orleans; KRUS 1490 AM, Ruston; KWKH 1130 AM, Shreveport; KTJZ 97.5 FM, Tallulah; WFCG 107.3 FM, Tylertown, MS; and, KVPI 1050 AM, Ville Platte

The Tigers are 17-10 and 8-7 in the SEC, in a four-way tie for fourth place with three games to go with Tennessee, Ole Miss and Arkansas. Florida, the league regular season champions after Kentucky’s loss to Arkansas Thursday night, is 26-2 and 15-0 and ranked No. 1 in both polls.

The Tigers will be playing a No. 1 team for the 18th time with a record of 3-14. LSU has defeated No. 1 ranked Duke in the 2006 NCAA Sweet 16 round in Atlanta, and in Baton Rouge the Tigers defeated No. 1 ranked Arizona in 2002 and No. 1 Kentucky in overtime in 1978. LSU has lost in its last three meetings against No. 1 teams – North Carolina in 2009 and twice to Kentucky in 2012.

LSU won its seventh straight SEC home win on Wednesday, 69-48, over Texas A&M. It gave LSU seven league road wins for the first time since 2009 and it was win No. 499 for men’s basketball in the history of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Freshman Jarell Martin had his sixth double figure scoring game in the last eight contests with a season high of 20 points for the second straight Wednesday. Johnny O’Bryant III had 15 points and nine rebounds, while Andre Stringer had three treys in an 11-point effort. Jordan Mickey moved past the 90-block plateau with 92 after five blocks against A&M.

Florida won its league game No. 15 on the road Tuesday night at Nashville, holding off Vanderbilt, 57-54. Dorian Finney-Smith hit three treys and had 19 points to lead the Gators while Patric Young added 12. Casey Prather leads Florida in scoring at 14.8 points per game, with Scottie Wilbekin at 13.5, Michael Frazier at 12.2 and Young at 10.8 a game.

O’Bryant III leads LSU with a 15.5 points per game average, while pulling down 7.8 rebounds a game. Anthony Hickey, who had his second straight career game of eight assists on Wednesday, is averaging 3.8 assists per game and leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.3 (103 assists and 31 turnovers).

This is the first of two straight on the road for LSU as they will travel to Vanderbilt on Thursday before finishing up the regular season at home on March 8 against Georgia.

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