Gators rally in 2nd half to topple LSU by 12

Riley Kugel scored 17 of his team-high 21 points in the second half, lifting host Florida to a 79-67 win over LSU in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday.

The Gators (16-15, 9-9 SEC) rallied from down 12 points in the second half, their fourth comeback from down double digits this season. Will Richard added 18 points for Florida, while Kyle Lofton had 16 points and five assists.

With Florida up 61-56, Kugel scored 11 of 13 points during a 13-4 run that gave the Gators a 74-60 lead with 1:45 left.

KJ Williams led LSU with 19 points and nine rebounds but picked up his fourth foul at the 10-minute mark of the second half and sat for a 5-minute stretch. That allowed Florida to make its move. The Gators went ahead to stay, 56-55, on an inside layup by Richard with 6:12 left.

LSU (13-18, 2-16) stumbled to its 16th loss in its last 17 games. Derek Fountain Jr. added 13 points for the Tigers while Andre Miller had 10.

Williams scored eight points in the first half, helping LSU take a 33-29 lead into halftime.

Down 18-15, LSU went on a 9-0 run, going up 24-18. Jalen Reed converted a three-point play to put LSU up 20-18, and Miller followed with a 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 23-18 lead.

Florida was plagued with foul trouble throughout the half as Kugel, Lofton and Alex Fudge each picked up two first-half fouls. Richard led Florida with eight points.

LSU shot 40 percent from the field in the first half and 2 of 11 from 3-point range. Florida shot 38.7 percent from the field in the half and went 3 of 11 from 3-point range.

With the win, Florida clinched the 8th seed in the SEC tournament and will play 9 seed Mississippi State on Thursday in Nashville, Tenn.

–Field Level Media

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