Randolph’s 22 points lead LSU to 85-73 upset over Gators
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP)—Anthony Randolph scored 22 points and Marcus Thornton added 20 Wednesday as LSU led from start to finish in an 85-73 win over defending national champion Florida.
LSU (9-14, 2-7 Southeastern Conference) had won only once in its last 11 games and fired head coach John Brady just last week.
Chris Johnson added 19 points for the winning Tigers, who shot 60 percent to hand interim coach Butch Pierre his first collegiate victory.
Florida (19-6, 6-4 SEC) was led by Nick Calathes’ 16 points. The Gators, who have won the last two NCAA basketball titles, were trying to give coach Billy Donovan his 10th consecutive 20-win season.
LSU, which shot 56.7 in the first half, jumped to a 20-6 lead on its way to a 41-33 halftime advantage.
Florida closed to within four points at 55-51 on a Marreese Speights dunk with 9:49 left, but Thornton ignited a 9-0 two-minute run with a 3-point basket that boosted LSU into a 64-51 lead and control of the game. The Tigers twice led by 15 in the final minutes.
Randolph, a 6-10 freshman from Dallas, hit 10 of 16 shots while Johnson and Thornton each made 8 of 11 tries.
Dan Werner added 13 points and a game-high 9 rebounds for Florida, which will not try to get its 20th win of the season Saturday at No. 24 Vanderbilt. Speights chipped in with 11 points for the Gators.
LSU returns home to host Kentucky on Saturday.