Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
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Will Wade-less Tigers fall to Florida, 76-73, in SEC Tournament

Will Wade-less Tigers fall to Florida, 76-73, in SEC Tournament

Over on the Auburn side, they're on a great run right now and playing well.

Having gotten the win that should have secured an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, Florida now tries to reach the SEC tournament final for the first time since winning it all in 2014 when it faces 22nd-ranked Auburn on Saturday. ". We did just enough to beat a very good team". After a three-pointer by Nembhard and Hudson knocking down three of his four free throw attempts, however, Florida took its first lead of the game with 6:05 minutes remaining. Florida won 82-77 at LSU in overtime on February 20.

Bryce Brown hit five 3-pointers and added 19 points as Auburn hit 13 of 34 from beyond the arc.

With only a second left in the game, the freshman hit the biggest shots of his young career. It was a six point swing in the game that has Tiger fans furious over the results. They went 2 of 15 (13.3 percent) in the first half outside the arc, a number made worse considering they shot more from the outside than inside the arc.

The game went back and forth down the stretch, and was tied 73-all with time quickly winding down.

The Razorbacks don't have any seniors this season, and among the nine players in their regular rotation are six newcomers.

An assist from Keyontae Johnson put Nembhard in position to sink a jumper from deep to bring the Gators up by three with one second on the clock.

Eighth-seeded Florida (19-14) now will play either No. 22 Auburn or SC in the semifinals Saturday after a thrilling comeback that firmed up the Gators' chances for an at-large NCAA Tournament berth.

Nembhard left of Aurora Ont. hugs teammate Jalen Hudson after hitting the game-winner
Nembhard left of Aurora Ont. hugs teammate Jalen Hudson after hitting the game-winner

The Tigers extend their lead to five points after a jumper by Javonte Smart and a layup by Marlon Taylor.

The other three teams that could make the Championship Game from that pod are Florida, South Carolina, and Auburn.

Florida fell behind 35-25 after the first half of the LSU game, but stormed back on a 51-38 clip in the second to bag a 76-73 victory and move on in the tournament. "In my head I was thinking what Coach White said: Play off two feet".

Naz Reid led the Tigers with 26 points including a pair of late-game three pointers that appeared to give LSU the edge in their quarterfinal match-up against the Gators.

"I just had confidence in him", Johnson said. I'm glad he hit it. My team is going to go as I go. "His guys I thought played really well and executed in the second half".

The 3-pointer counted. Allen's technical free throws counted. "He's been working hard every Sunday taking shots with Coach (Mike) White". But the Gators kept shooting 3s and went 6 of 13 in the second half. The Gators faced each of these teams one time in the regular season, losing both of those matchups against the Tigers and the Gamecocks.

While Auburn tries to improve its NCAA Tournament seeding, SC (16-16) waits to see whether it merits an NIT invitation, even though its coach believes his team's capable of much more.


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