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Walter Clayton Jr. scores 21 points, Florida holds off LSU 82-80

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Walter Clayton Jr. scored 21 points and Florida held off LSU for an 82-80 victory on Tuesday night.

Tyrese Samuel split a pair of free throws and Clayton added a layup to give Florida an 81-78 lead with 20 seconds left. The Gators' Alex Condon made the first of two free throws to cap the scoring with nine seconds to play. Jordan Wright missed a jumper to end it.

Florida had its largest lead, 60-40 with 15:31 to play. LSU pulled within single digits with 8:48 remaining. Jalen Cook and Tyrell Ward later each hit a 3-pointer to bookend a 16-5 run to tie it 78-all with 1:33 left.

Tyrese Samuel scored 15 points and Zyon Pullin added 14 for Florida (17-7, 7-4 SEC), which has won six of seven. The Gators shot 67% (20 of 30) in the first half but cooled to 34% (13 of 38) in the second.

Wright and Will Baker scored 16 points apiece to lead LSU (12-12, 4-7). Cook and Ward each made three from long range and finished with 12 points apiece. The Tigers shot 62.5% (15 of 24) and 6 of 9 from distance in the second half.

Florida took the lead for good about four minutes in and led 48-34 at the break. Clayton scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Baker made a pair of 3s and scored 13 first-half points for LSU.

Florida plays at Georgia on Saturday. LSU, which has lost three straight and six of its last seven, plays at No. 11 South Carolina on Saturday.

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