Auburn's hot streak cools off at Florida
Jan. 23, 2016

Auburn's Tyler Harris is one the move for his team-high 14 points
Auburn's Tyler Harris is one the move for his team-high 14 points

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Auburn forward Jordon Granger figured that'd be plenty of carryover for his Tigers from their headline-grabbing victories over Kentucky and Alabama in the previous seven days.

Florida had other ideas Saturday night.

The Gators topped Auburn 95-63 in a reversal of fortune for the Tigers, whose hot streak won in the friendly confines of Auburn Arena cooled off in the O'Connell Center.

"It was really unexpected," Granger said. "I felt like we had good preparation for the game, but Florida just played great at home. We'll learn from this game and take it to the next game at Ole Miss."

Granger scored a season-high 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting. "My teammates found me. They had me in good spots and I was able to knock down my shots."

But Auburn couldn't keep up against the fast-starting Gators. Auburn fell to 9-9 overall and 3-4 in the Southeastern Conference, and 2-7 away from its home court. Florida improved to 13-6 overall and 5-2 in the league, and now has beaten Auburn in 19 of their last 20 meetings.

Auburn had celebrated its wins over Kentucky and Alabama. Things didn't go as well on a chilly Florida night.

"It's about matchups," said Auburn coach Bruce Pearl. "We just weren't competitive tonight. Give Florida credit, they played great."

Auburn will try to regroup after an off day Sunday, the first off day in about three weeks, Pearl said.

Tyler Harris led Auburn with 14 points. Kareem Canty added 12. Dorian Finney-Smith scored 24 to lead five Gators in double figures.

"For us to be competitive," Pearl said, "we really need everybody to be firing on all cylinders, myself included.

"They got off to a great start. They physically dominated us inside and kind of had their way with us."

Florida shot 56.9 percent, outrebounded Auburn by 13 and had eight blocks. The Tigers had none.

"They got the ball inside. They shot it great. They played well together. We didn't put up much resistance," Pearl said. "They got whatever they wanted inside."

The first few seconds of this rematch started well enough for Auburn. The Tigers hit a 2-pointer and a 3-pointer to take a 5-2 lead. Those were the first-half highlights.

Florida set the tone by taking a 15-5 after five minutes while shooting 67 percent from the floor. Then it was 25-8. Florida was shooting 70 percent when the score was 40-16. The Gators enjoyed a 25-point lead when they were shooting 71 percent.

Auburn picked up its game in the closing minutes of the half, but still trailed 53-32 at the break. The Gators responded by hitting their first five shots of the second half for a 66-48 lead with 15:56 remaining.

Auburn will try to reverse their road troubles at Ole Miss at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter:


 

 

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