Jan. 12, 2008
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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.
Quan Prowell led three Auburn players in double figures with 13. Lucas Hargrove had 11 and senior guard Frank Tolbert added 10.
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.