Florida’s Lavender Briggs swished a 3-pointer with 41 seconds in overtime to ignite a 6-0 run to close the game as the Gators bagged a 73-66 SEC road win over LSU in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Thursday night.
Briggs and Kiki Smith combined for 40 points and 20 rebounds, both recording double-doubles for Florida (10-8, 3-7), which was coming off an 11-day layoff since a scheduled game vs. Vanderbilt was canceled because the Commodores shut down their program for the season for COVID-19 reasons.
Briggs had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Smith added 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Senior guard Khayla Pointer, who has played at an All-SEC level the last few weeks, scored a game-high 27 points ( 22 after halftime) for LSU (8-9, 6-5). Redshirt senior Faustina Aifuwa contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds, the 17th double-double of her career and her seventh of the season.
“This team (Florida) showed that we have to be ready to play strong quarters the entire game,” LSU coach Nikki Fargas said. “We have got to be more diligent in our efforts to score the ball. We are probably playing about 30 minutes of good basketball, and we always play with at least one quarter where we struggle to score. You look at shot selection and opportunities to score.”
Until Briggs’ back-breaking 3-pointer that put the Tigers in a frenzied panic – they missed their last four shots including three 3-pointers – it was virtually a one-possession game for almost 8:45 starting at the 4:24 mark of the fourth period.
Considering LSU survived some frigid shooting, missing 13 of 14 shots in one stretch of the first half, the Tigers were fortunate to get to overtime.
And they even got a break with that when the officiating crew waved off a last-second game winning shot by Florida at the final buzzer in regulation.
LSU plays its next two home games on the road, starting Sunday at No. 3 South Carolina with an 11 a.m. CT tip on the SEC Network. The Tigers lost to the then-No. 4 Gamecocks 69-65 on Jan. 24 in Baton Rouge.