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No. 11 LSU women top No. 17 Florida, now alone in 2nd in SEC

Posted at 6:37 PM, Feb 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-20 19:37:59-05

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Alexis Morris scored eight of her 20 points in the final 38 seconds, Autumn Newby added 13 points and No. 11 LSU beat Florida 66-61 on Sunday to take sole possession of second in the Southeastern Conference with a week remaining in the regular season.

Top-ranked South Carolina beat No. 12 Tennessee to earn at least a share of the regular-season conference title. The Lady Vols and No. 17 Florida (20-7, 10-4) are tied for third, a game behind LSU (23-4, 11-3).

Newby grabbed an offensive rebound, was fouled on the putback and made the and-1 free throw to the give Tigers the lead for good midway through the fourth quarter and ignite an 8-2 spurt that made it 58-52 with 2:45 to play. Morris made 8 of 10 from the free-throw line from there to seal it.

Nina Rickards led Florida with 17 points on 8-of-16 shooting and nine rebounds. Kiara Smith had 13 points, six rebounds and six assists and Zipporah Broughton added 10 points and seven boards. Smith and Broughton combined to make just 9 of 27 from the field.

The Tigers, who lost 73-72 to on Jan. 23, have won six in a row and snapped Florida’s five-game win streak.

Khayla Pointer, LSU's leading scorer at 19.3 per game on 44.7% shooting, made just 1 of 17 from the field and 5 of 10 from the free-throw line and finished with a season-low seven points.

Newby made 5 of 6 from the field, grabbed eight rebounds with two steals and a block. The 6-foot-2 senior, who went into the game averaging 5.6 points this season, scored seven points in the fourth quarter. Faustine Aifuwa, a 6-5 senior, added 10 points, six rebounds, and a season-high five blocks.

The Gators shot 37% from the field while limiting LSU to 33% shooting but made just 11 of 22 from the free-throw line, where the Tigers made 22 of 32.

Florida plays at Vanderbilt on Thursday. LSU plays its regular-season home finale Thursday against Alabama.