BATON ROUGE (WGNO) – The LSU Tigers, now ranked 12 in the two major college basketball polls, tries to find a way to win on the road Wednesday night when it travels to Gainesville to take on the University of Florida.
The Tigers and Gators will tip off at the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center just after 6 p.m. CT in a game televised by ESPN2 (Tom Hart, Jimmy Dykes) and broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network (Guaranty Media flagship Eagle 98.1 FM in BR).
LSU is 14-1 and 2-1 in the SEC after wins over nationally-ranked Kentucky and Tennessee last week. The Gators are 9-5 and 0-2 in the league after an 85-73 loss at Auburn on Saturday.
Tari Eason led LSU in scoring and rebounding in the 79-67 win over Tennessee with 24 points and 12 rebounds, the first 20-10 game of the LSU season. Darius Day shad 15 points in the contest.
This marks the third straight year the Tigers have played at Florida. The two schools were scheduled for a home-and-home set last season but Florida was unable to come to Baton Rouge because of a COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent contact tracing and the game was not rescheduled.
Point guard Xavier Pinson remains day-to-day for the contest after suffering an MCL strain and knee bruise late in the Tennessee win. If he cannot go, it is expected Eric Gaines will step into the starting role and freshman Justice Williams to see a bigger role for the Tigers in his fourth college game.
Florida is led by 6-11 senior Colin Castleton who averages 15.6 points and 9.2 rebounds a game. Tyree Appleby averages 10.0 points and 3.6 assists for the Gators.
As the Tigers opened with three ranked teams in SEC play for the first time, Florida has never before opened its SEC slate with three consecutive contests vs. Top 25 opponents although this is actually their fourth playing date, their game with Ole Miss on Dec. 29 was postponed to later in the month because of Covid issues within the Ole Miss program.
Mike White is 7-3 against LSU with Will Wade getting two of those wins. Seven of the 10 meetings since the former Louisiana Tech head coach took over have been decided by six points or fewer.
In last year’s meeting, Florida outscored LSU in the second half to win 83-79 in Gainesville with Castleton scoring 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting. The game was played a lot at the free throw line as each team committed 20 fouls and the teams combined to go 42-of-48 at the free throw line.
Eason is averaging 16.2 points per game while Darius Days of nearby Raleigh, Florida is averaging 14.3 points a contest.
LSU returns home on Saturday to play Arkansas in a 1 p.m. game at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Tickets are available at the LSU Athletics Ticket Office and online at LSUTix.net.
(Press release provided by LSU Athletics)