It looks like that team meeting Monday was indeed productive.
Looking to shake off a two-game losing skid, the Florida basketball team regrouped off the court earlier this week and then dominated on it Wednesday night at LSU.
The No. 25 Gators hit 10 straight shots during one stretch on their way to a 25-point halftime lead and just kept piling on while setting a program record with 19 3-pointers in a 106-71 win over the Tigers at Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La.
Florida’s 3s were one shy of the record 20 for an SEC game, set by Kentucky against LSU in 1995. The overall record for an SEC team in any game was 21 by Kentucky against North Carolina in 1990 and by Arkansas against Troy State in 1997.
This display of hot shooting from beyond the arc came after the Gators (15-5, 6-2 SEC) went 0 for 17 from 3-point range two games ago at South Carolina.
“The ball movement was as good as it’s been all year for us if you look at our point guards’ (turnover-to-assist) ratio,” coach Mike White said. “We got good movement on penetrate-and-pitch 3s. And our bigs did as good as they have in making decisions. They played the right way. They took what the defense gave them. The ball didn’t stop. We didn’t get stagnant. Hopefully, we see that more often.
“It’s crazy that just a week ago we were 0 for 17 from 3. It’s amazing it’s two games removed from a game where you struggled to see it go down. There was a challenge that we had to spend a little more time (in the gym).”
— Ryan Young (@RyanYoungSEC) January 26, 2017
The Gators were without second-leading scorer Canyon Barry due to a sprained ankle, but they more than compensated.
Forward Devin Robinson scored a career-high 24 points while hitting 5-of-8 3-pointers, keying that perimeter shooting barrage.
Freshman guard Eric Hester, who had scored 14 points all season coming into the game, finished 5 of 5 from 3-point range while scoring 16 points Wednesday night.
Forward Justin Leon chipped in 15 points, center Kevarrius Hayes added 12, guard KeVaughn Allen and center John Egbunu scored 11 each and guard Chris Chiozza dropped in 9.
Florida shot a scalding-hot 73.3 percent (11 of 15) from the outside in the first half and finished 19 of 33 overall (57.6 percent).
Florida From 3:
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— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) January 26, 2017
It was the most points Florida has scored in any game since dropping 107 on Jacksonville during the 2011-12 season, the Gators’ most in an SEC game since a 107-104 double-overtime win at Mississippi during the 1974-75 campaign, the most in regulation of a league game since scoring 106 against Mississippi during the 1970-71 season and their most ever in a regulation SEC road game.
LSU dropped to 9-10 overall and 1-7 in the SEC.
Player of the game: Devin Robinson
The junior forward finished 9-of-15 shooting overall and 5 of 8 from 3-point range, setting career highs with his 24 points and those 3s. He also added 8 rebounds.
Robinson looks to be out of his offensive slump, building on a 12-point performance Saturday against Vanderbilt after being held to 8-or-fewer points in the previous four games.
Amazingly, Robinson had made only 3 3-pointers total over the last seven games and came in shooting 30.4 percent from long distance.
— Florida Gators (@FloridaGators) January 26, 2017
Florida connected on those 10 straight shots during the middle of the first half to claim complete control in the game.
The shooting streak started with four straight 3-pointers from Leon, Chiozza twice and Allen. Overall, the Gators hit 7 3s during that stretch as their lead went from 13-10 to 40-21.
Florida then went more than 4 minutes without a made field goal, but it didn’t matter as the visitors would cruise into halftime with that 58-33 lead.
Key stat line
The 3s, of course.
Florida had only made double-digit 3s once all season, going 16 of 31 from the outside against Little Rock last month. There was simply no way to see this coming.
While Robinson and Hester both set careers highs for 3s, Leon and Chiozza tied theirs with 3 each. Chiozza came in shooting just 22.7 percent (10 of 44) from 3 overall and just 1 of 12 over the last six games before going 3 of 6 Wednesday night.
What’s next for Florida
The Gators stay on the road and head to Norman, Okla., to take on Oklahoma at 2 p.m. Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
The Sooners are off to an 8-11 start and are coming off consecutive losses to Iowa State and on the road at Texas.
They are led by senior guard Jordan Woodard, who averages 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
Florida and Oklahoma have played only once before, back in 1995, when the Gators pulled out a 76-72 overtime win.
Florida-LSU box score