BATON ROUGE, La. — There’s no other way to write it. The LSU basketball team just got pounded.
The No. 25 Florida Gators routed LSU Wednesday night, crushing the Tigers 106-71. With the loss, LSU falls to 1-7 in SEC play and 9-10 on the season, making LSU one of the three teams in the SEC with a sub-.500 record.
“Zero. No positives. No positives from this game,” LSU basketball coach Johnny Jones said after the game. “The only thing positive is that somebody came to watch us play tonight.”
The loss was the worst home loss LSU has ever suffered to an SEC opponent, topping the Tigers’ 32-point loss to Kentucky on Jan. 16, 1996.
“I’m extremely disappointed in our performance tonight across the board,” Johnny Jones said. “From the coaching to the players, you name it. We certainly owe our fans an apology tonight. We did not represent those letters or those colors in the fashion that I think we’ve grown proud to represent night in and night out.”
Jones shook up the Tigers’ lineup once again Wednesday, starting forward Elbert Robinson III for the first time this year to shore up LSU’s frontcourt. And, for what it’s worth, the move worked. LSU outscored Florida 40-30 in the paint, though Robinson only played for 10 total minutes.
But for all of LSU’s success on the interior, the Tigers struggled mightily on the perimeter. Florida connected on a school record 19 3-point field goals, compared to LSU’s 2-for-17 night from beyond the arc.
“Our defense has been poor this year. We haven’t gotten better,” Jones said. “They’ve got guys shooting below 20 percent from the 3-point line who are making threes. There’s not any pressure on the shots we’re taking. We’ve certainly got to make sure we improve.”
By the time halftime rolled around, Florida had all but sealed up its victory. LSU allowed Florida to score 58 first half points, the most the Tigers had allowed in a first half all season.
Player of the Game: Wayde Sims
There wasn’t much that looked good for LSU basketball Wednesday night, but freshman forward Wayde Sims was one of them.
Sims posted 12 points on a 5-for-5 day from the field, corralling seven rebounds and making one assist in 25 minutes of play.
“I just try to play a full 40 minutes and go hard the whole time while there is still time on the clock,” Sims said. “Never give up.”
Stat of the Game: 3-pointers
It was plain as day. The LSU basketball team couldn’t make a 3-point shot if it wanted to. And Florida couldn’t miss.
The Gators went 19-for-33 from the 3-point line, despite entering the day shooting 33.9 percent from beyond the arc, ranking 230th in the country.
LSU, by contrast, had to settle for 2-point shots in the paint and free throws all day. The Gators stifled LSU’s perimeter shooting game, holding the Tigers to a 2-for-17 day from deep.
“At this point all we can do is be positive,” freshman point guard Skylar Mays said. “We’re in a pretty low place right now. So we’re looking at it as the only way we can go is up.”
With 13:00 remaining in the first half, Florida held a narrow 13-10 lead. The two teams were trading baskets back and forth, and LSU had even held the lead for 1:15.
But then Florida hit four-straight 3-pointers. The Gators lead expanded to 25-12 over that stretch, and from there, Florida stayed hot for the rest of the first half. LSU didn’t and went into halftime trailing by 25 points.
What’s next for LSU basketball?
LSU heads to Lubbock, Texas Saturday for a showdown versus Texas Tech in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The game is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU.