By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
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NASHVILLE – Erik Murphy scored a career-high 27 points Friday and top-seeded Florida punched its ticket to the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals with a resounding 80-58 win against ninth-seeded LSU at Bridgestone Arena.
Florida (25-6) advances to face the winner of the SEC Tournament quarterfinal between fourth-seeded Alabama and fifth-seeded Tennessee at 1 p.m. ET Saturday on ABC.
Murphy’s 27 points are the third-most ever scored by a Florida player in an SEC Tournament game and came on 11-of-15 shooting from the field and a 5-of-7 clip from the three-point stripe. He also brought down a career-high and game-high 12 rebounds. Scottie Wilbekin turned in 16 pointts, while Michael Frazier added 11 and Patric Young 10.
Florida shot a blistering 50.9 percent (29-of-57) from the field in the game, while limiting LSU to just 33.3 percent (18-of-54) from the floor. Florida out-rebounded LSU 47-27.
LSU (19-12) was led by a team-high 14 points from Charles Carmouche.
All-Time Series: LSU leads the series 60-42, although Florida has won the last five meetings
In SEC Tournament Games: LSU leads 8-3
Earlier this Season: On Jan. 12 at LSU, Florida won 74-52
• Key run: ahead 18-17, Florida went on a 9-0 run for a 27-17 lead.
• Florida shot 56.3 percent in the first half, including 6 of 12 three-pointers, and led 43-28 at intermission.
• Florida led by as many as 35 points (73-38) in the second half.
• LSU is 19-12. After starting 0-4 in SEC play, the Tigers won 10 of their last 16 games.
• Charles Carmouche led LSU with 14 points, including 3 of 5 on three-point shots.
• Florida received the SEC regular-season championship trophy before today’s game.
• Florida is 25-6, becoming the ninth UF team in school history to reach 25 wins.
• Florida limited LSU to 58 points, the 22nd time this season that UF kept an opponent below 60 points (22-0 in those games).
• The Gators had a fine game around the basket. Florida led the rebounding 47-27, points in the paint 28-14 and second-chance points 19-8.
• Florida shot 50.9 percent from the field, the 13th game this season that the Gators have made at least half their shots.
• Erik Murphy posted career highs with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
• Scottie Wilbekin scored 16 points, one shy of his career high.