LSU's Javonte Smart cleared to play in SEC tournament

Will Wade was suspended indefinitely last week and his status for the rest of the season remains unclear

AP Will Wade was suspended indefinitely last week and his status for the rest of the season remains unclear

The Gators split their series with the Tigers in the regular season, taking a win on the road and falling to LSU at home.

With the possibility of creating a stronger case to make the NCAA Tournament, Florida stepped up to the challenge and won yet another nail-biter against the Tigers.

"Big win for us", Mike White told reporters following the game. "Thought we played really well, as we have against those guys three times".

The Tigers were lucky to get any sort of momentum back.

It's been a great year for this league top to bottom. The players who've given their all for this institution, the students and alumni who are devoted to LSU, and fans all across Louisiana and beyond deserve to see this team fulfill its destiny. Both of them were tough as nails today, made big plays down the stretch offensively and defensively. It's a good story. He is the team's-fourth leading scorer at 11.5 points per game.

LSU shot 47.6 percent (30 of 63), while Florida made almost 60 percent of its second-half shots and finished at 46.4 percent (26 of 56).

Florida made 6-of-13 three-pointers in the second half.

A couple of baskets by Nembhard and buckets from four different Gators led to the team being down 35-25 going into halftime. Hayes went 1-for-2 from the line.

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

Florida (19-14) flipped a three-point deficit to a three-point lead with 3:45 to play, as the Gators benefited from a six-point trip down the court that included a three pointer and three free throws.

Reid finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds.

"It definitely shifts the momentum and it slows the game down, which is much better for them at the pace they play", LSU junior guard Skylar Mays said of that sequence.

Seconds later, LSU star Naz Reid buried a triple to tie things at 73-all, part of a 26-point effort for the freshman before he was one-upped by Nembhard.

One second remained on the clock when the All-SEC freshman pulled up an NBA-range 3-pointer after KeVaughn Allen dished him the assist from inside the paint. Florida's Johnson tied the game with a three-pointer, which was ruled to count though Reid was charged with a foul while fighting through a screen well before the shot. Three other Gators - Allen, Hayes and Hudson - each put up 10 or more points for Florida.

"I knew he was going to hit it", said the Gators' Keyontae Johnson. "As a university and employer, we need to hear our employee say, 'I didn't do anything wrong, ' or explain the circumstances or admit he did do something wrong". It was a good drive by Keyontae. As for when he found out he was playing Friday, "I found out this morning. I'm happy it went down, for sure". Florida made the two technical free throws and 1-of-2 for the double-bonus foul to lead 66-63.

SC beat Auburn 80-77 in the regular season thanks to a career-high 32 points from Silva.

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