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Florida Pushes Past Auburn, 72-61

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Feb. 2, 2006

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - KeKe Carrier poured in a career-high 24 points and snatched eight rebounds, but it was not enough as Auburn had its three-game win streak snapped with a 72-61 loss at Florida on Thursday at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

Auburn (12-9, 3-5 SEC) was unable to overcome its 22 turnovers, including 14 in the second half, as Florida (16-5, 4-4 SEC) took full advantage of the Tigers' miscues by scoring 26 points off turnovers.

"They were hungry for a win tonight," head coach Nell Fortner said. "I think they came out and played well and their senior leadership showed. It is always hard to win when you have 22 turnovers."

With 7:06 to play in the first half, Joanna Clayden hit a three-pointer to give the Tigers their largest lead of the game at 27-20, but from that point on, Florida strung together a 20-8 run to close the half and never looked back.

Auburn trailed 40-35 at the half, but it could have been worse had Clayden not hit another three with one second remaining in the first half to pull the Tigers within five.

In the second half, both teams experienced similar dry spells with Florida going scoreless from the 14:50 mark to the 9:25 mark and Auburn from the 14:29 mark to the 10:26 mark.

Despite Florida's run to end the first half, Auburn would not go down without a fight as the Tigers eventually narrowed their deficit to four at 54-50 with 7:37 to play, but that was as close as Auburn would get.

The Tigers may have lost on the scoreboard, but they won the game in the post, as they outscored the Gators 40-18 in the paint and outrebounded them 42-32.

In addition to Carrier's career night, fellow post player Marita Payne scored 10 points to go along with her seven rebounds and six blocked shots. DeWanna Bonner grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to go along with eight points in the loss.



"I thought KeKe (Carrier) played a great game for us," Fortner said. "It was a game where I felt we could go to her inside all night."

The Gators had all five of their starters reach double figures, led by freshman Sha Brooks, who scored 16 points on five three-pointers, all of which came in the first half.

Auburn shot 45.3 percent from the field, compared to just 35.6 percent by Florida.

Auburn returns to the hardwood on Sunday, when the Tigers face Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.

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