|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET12:00 PM GMT8:00 PM 北京时间5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST, Feb 20, 2019
Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana Attendance: 10,976
No. 13 LSU ready for Gators in final push for SEC title
At the two-thirds poll in the 18-game, SEC stakes race, surprising No. 13 LSU, picked before the season to finish sixth in the conference, is entering the final turn in full gallop.
By winning 14 of its last 15 games, including victories last week over Auburn, Kentucky and Georgia, the Tigers (21-4, 11-1 SEC) leaped six spots from No. 19 in the national rankings and entered the week tied with No. 5 Tennessee (23-2, 11-1) atop the conference standings.
No. 4 Kentucky (21-4, 10-2) is just one game back in the SEC after routing the Volunteers 86-69 on Saturday.
LSU defeated Kentucky, 73-71, on a last-second tip-in on Feb. 12, and Kentucky handed Tennessee its first league loss on Saturday.
The No. 13 ranking is the highest for LSU in the AP poll since 2009, when it won the regular-season conference championship.
With six games left in the regular season, LSU will play four games at home, beginning with Wednesday night's game against Florida (14-11, 6-6) at the Maravich Assembly Center.
Tennessee and Kentucky, the Tigers' two closest competitors for the SEC title, each will finish with three games at home and three on the road.
If LSU defeats the Gators on Wednesday, it will set up a huge showdown against the Volunteers on Saturday in Baton Rouge. LSU's lone conference loss was by a point, 90-89, at home to Arkansas on Feb. 2.
Florida is coming off a 71-53 road blowout of Alabama on Saturday. Freshman point guard Andrew Nembhard, fifth in the SEC in assists, became an offensive machine against the Tide, making all nine shots from the field to power the Gators.
Nembhard was the first SEC player since Tennessee's Isiah Victor in 1999 to make at least nine field goals without a miss.
"(It was a) big win for us," Nembhard said. "This is going to be good for our overall confidence and mentality, for sure."
"That's as well as we've played all year," Florida coach Mike White said.
In the Tigers' 83-79 victory over Georgia on Saturday, LSU freshman Naz Reid overcame a scoreless first half to score 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting. The key to LSU's dominance this year has been the ability of other players to pick up the pace when point guard Tremont Waters or Reid struggle for brief portions of the game.
"I felt like we didn't get him the ball in very good positions in that first half," LSU coach Will Wade said of Reid. "We wanted to make a concerted effort to get him involved, get him in the game."
LSU did, and Reid responded.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 19, 2019