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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Redshirt sophomore forward Lily Svete fired from

beyond the arc and watched her shot find the bottom of the

basket.

Svete’s 3-pointer gave the Gators a 21-13 lead,

marking the first time Florida has reached the 20-point plateau

before halftime since its win over Ole Miss on Jan. 5.

UF (12-6, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) defeated LSU

(13-4, 4-1) 62-58 Sunday.

Defeating the Tigers earned the Gators their first

league win at home in three tries this season.

Redshirt senior Jordan Jones said it was good for the

Gators to get the “monkey off of [their] back.” 

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“If there’s such a thing as a ‘must-win’ four games

into the SEC season, this was it,” Jones said.

Florida’s success stemmed from its defensive effort,

especially in the first half.

After falling behind 12-10, the Gators went on a 20-4

run, holding the Tigers without a field goal for 10:22.

During that span, LSU was 0 for 12 and turned the

ball over three times.

“As you can look at our numbers the last few games,

we are not an offensive team that’s going to come out and rely on

our offense to win games,” Jones said. 

“[Defense]’s what we focus on in practice, that’s

what we focus on amongst ourselves in our huddles, and it’s going

to win games.”

Coach Amanda Butler has maintained that UF prides

itself on defense.

However, she said she was also pleased with the

20-point outburst during the Tigers’ offensive dry spell.

“A team having a field drought isn’t significant

unless you’re putting points on the board going the other

direction,” Butler said.

“To be able to go down on the other end and get the

reward for that good defense and not put so much pressure on our

defense every possession to get a stop just felt good for

them.”

Jones led Florida’s offense with 16 points, shooting

50 percent from the field and finishing 4 of 9 from 3-point

range.

Jones was instrumental in holding off a rally by the

Tigers midway through the second half.

With the Gators leading by seven with 8:36 to play,

Jones scored eight points on a 10-3 run over two minutes to open up

a 14-point lead.

But a 12-0 run by LSU over the next four minutes made

it a one-possession game with 2:35 remaining in regulation.

According to Jones, Florida’s senior leadership is

what helped the team hold onto the win. Butler cited experience in

close games.

All four of the Gators’ conference games have been

decided by six points or less.

“I really was very confident,” Butler said. “We have

been through enough moments in this season to know who we need to

put in different game situations to get the result that we

want.”

While Jones led the scoring effort, every Gator that

saw the floor put points on the board.

Seven different players scored Florida’s first seven

field goals of the game against one of the best defensive teams in

the nation.

LSU has the No. 3 scoring defense (46.6 points) and

No. 2 field-goal percentage defense (29.9 percent).

“To be able to look at that statistical column

(points) — which is what most people gauge success by — and to see

a number next to everyone’s name, I think it’s great,” Butler said.

“I’m just proud of them for them all taking their own individual

opportunities and making the most of them.”

Contact Joe Morgan at

joemorgan@alligator.org.

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