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LSU looks for more physical effort against Florida

Dec 13, 2022; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Matt McMahon yells at his players from the bench against the North Carolina Central Eagles during the first half at Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Florida got its first SEC victory Saturday after losing its first two conference games. LSU has lost its last two SEC games after winning its conference opener.

The ups and downs of the SEC season are under way as the Gators (8-7, 1-2 SEC) and the Tigers (12-3, 1-2) meet Tuesday night in Baton Rouge, La.

“As we all know, it’s a very unforgiving league, so we have got to move onto the next one, but we also have to find some solutions to give ourselves a chance to be in these games,” LSU coach Matt McMahon said after a 69-56 loss at Texas A&M on Saturday.

The Tigers were outrebounded 38-27 and got outscored 42-10 in the paint by the more physical Aggies.

“I don’t know if a team has ever gotten outscored 42-10 in the paint and won a game,” McMahon said. “I’d be shocked if that’s ever happened.”

Florida held on to beat visiting Georgia 82-75 on Saturday after losing its first two SEC games by three points apiece to Auburn and Texas A&M.

“There are only so many blows you can take before you start having issues with your trust and belief,” coach Todd Golden said. “For us to see a win at the end of one of these efforts will be really good for us.”

The Gators fell behind 23-10 midway through the first half, but took a 39-34 halftime lead after making their last nine shots of the half. They shot 55 percent (16 of 29) from the floor in the second half.

“We had a few open looks that didn’t drop,” said guard Kyle Lofton, who scored 18 points to lead five Gators in double figures.

“We emphasized getting stops on the defensive end and that’s really where it mattered. We got the shots we wanted and they eventually started falling. We started putting pressure on them and the game opened up from there.”

–Field Level Media