Jan. 12, 2008
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Jai Lucas scored seven of his 16 points in the final 3:30 to lead Florida to a 72-56 victory over Auburn on Saturday.
Lucas made 7-of-9 shots from the field and stopped a late Auburn rally to give Florida its ninth consecutive victory over Auburn. The Tigers (9-5, 0-2 SEC) haven't beaten the Gators (15-2, 2-0) since the 2000 SEC Tournament.
Florida led 63-56 with four minutes remaining when Lucas took over. He finished a drive in the middle of the lane with a turnaround jump shot as the shot clock expired to put UF ahead 65-56 with 3:21 to play.
Lucas hit a 3-pointer on Florida's next possession and made another short jumper in the lane on the Gators' following trip down the court to put UF ahead 70-56 with 1:36 remaining.
Nick Calathes added 16 points and Marreese Speights had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Gators.
Florida turned a four-point halftime lead into a 12-point lead with 12:18 remaining with an 18-10 run to begin the second half. The Gators' full-court press keyed the run, forcing the Tigers into six turnovers. Florida led 33-29 at the half.
The teams shot a combined 6-of-30 from 3-point range. Florida was 3 for 13 and Auburn 3 for 17. Both teams started 1 for 10 from 3-point range.