GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Erik Murphy scored 15 points and No. 17 Florida beat LSU 76-64 Saturday night to extend its home win streak to 16 games.
The Gators (15-4, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) had five players in double figures, a balanced effort that helped them overcome an off shooting night from 3-point range. Erving Walker had 12 points, and Kenny Boynton, Bradley Beal and Mike Rosario finished with 11 points apiece for Florida, which made 7 of 21 shots from behind the arc.
Justin Hamilton led the Tigers with a career-high 27 points and eight rebounds. The 7-footer made 13 of 22 shots, nearly as many as the rest of his team.
Hamilton helped LSU (12-7, 2-3) trim the lead to 68-60 with 3 minutes remaining, but the Gators pulled away down the stretch. Walker hit a 3 with 2:27 remaining — his first of the game — to make it 73-60.
Patric Young, dealing with tendinitis in his right ankle, had eight points and seven rebounds for the Gators, who improved to 10-0 in Gainesville this season.
Florida shot 64 percent in the first half and used a 15-4 run to build a big lead. The Gators essentially put the game away with a flurry of 3-pointers just after the break.
Rosario, Murphy and Scottie Wilbekin hit shots from behind the arc in a 3-minute span that pushed Florida's lead to 53-38. LSU trimmed it under double digits several times, but couldn't get enough defensive stops to pull within striking distance.
The Tigers shot 44 percent from the field but aside from Hamilton, the rest of the team made 15 of 41 shots. Anthony Hickey was the only other LSU player in double figures with 10 points.
Florida, which didn't have a midweek game, was cold at the start. The Gators missed their first four 3-point attempts, but seemingly scored at will in the paint. They finished the first half with 20 points in the paint and led 38-26.
The Gators pressed early and often, forcing LSU into 10 turnovers in the first 15 minutes. The Tigers settled down after halftime, but it was too little, too late.