Auburn 52

(11-6, 2-4 SEC)

(17) Florida 68

(12-4, 3-2 SEC)

    4:00 PM ET, January 24, 2004

    Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida

    1 2 T
    AUB 22 3052
    #17FLA 30 3868

    Gators force host of turnovers

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Ten-second violations, five-second violations, traveling and plain-ol' bad hands. Auburn got a taste of Florida's press Saturday and found out just how many ways there are to commit a turnover.

    David Lee scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half to help the 17th-ranked Gators stop a two-game losing streak with a 68-52 victory over the Tigers, who had chances, but simply couldn't overcome all the turnovers.

    Auburn turned it over 22 times, to be exact, but the most telling number was this: With 3 minutes left in the first half, the Tigers (11-6, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) had more turnovers (15) than shots (14). Surprisingly, they trailed by only 10.

    "I was shocked when I heard the news," said forward Marco Killingsworth, who led Auburn with 17 points and 11 rebounds. "I thought we'd have been down by 19 or something."

    They weren't, mainly because the Gators (12-4, 3-2) couldn't find anyone to complement Anthony Roberson, who made his first six shots en route to 21 points.

    Lee, who was held to 1-for-6 shooting in the first half, finally stepped up and made the difference.

    The 6-foot-9 forward also had two assists during his second-half hot streak, the second of which was a sweet no-look pass to Adrian Moss for a dunk and a 57-44 lead. Christian Drejer followed with a 3-pointer to cap a 16-2 run that iced the game with 5 minutes left.

    "Moss and David started to score and good things started to happen," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "All of the sudden, the perimeter started to open up."

    Freshman guard Lee Humphrey made all three of his 3-point attempts, two in the second half, and finished with nine points.

    With his players tiring, Donovan called off the full-court press in the second half and twice, the Tigers pulled within two. But they could never tie things up.

    "Our game plan was to go inside and make shots," Auburn coach Cliff Ellis said. "But we missed too many shots and turned the ball over too many times and that was the bottom line."

    Brandon Robinson shot 4-for-10 for 10 points for Auburn. Kyle Davis finished with three points and 10 rebounds on 1-for-5 shooting. Ellis lost in his 300th game at the school (183-117).

    Trailing by nine -- in the midst of the key Florida run -- the Tigers worked the ball nicely to Robinson, who squared up for an open 3-pointer. Alas, the ball slipped from his hands, then banged off his knee and out of bounds, a signature moment of a sloppy game for the Tigers.

    Lee followed with two free throws and, on Florida's next possession, fought hard for a rebound and layup for a 55-42 lead.

    "I was getting shots I wanted in the first half, that was the frustrating thing," Lee said. "But because we played good defense in the first half, we weren't down by 10 like we sometimes are."

    Matt Walsh struggled for Florida, finishing with just six points on 2-for-9 shooting. Drejer, returning after missing Wednesday's loss to Mississippi State with a sore back, finished with seven points, six assists and three of Florida's 12 turnovers. Moss replaced Bonell Colas in the starting lineup and finished with 10 points and six rebounds.

    Auburn, which hasn't won in Gainesville since 1996, had 16 turnovers at halftime, just a fraction under its season average for an entire game.

    "Some guys had never been here before," Killingsworth said. "They're not used to this kind of environment, and we were just turning it over, turning it over, left and right."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

    Florida leads 14-4
    » Jan 24, 2004 @FLA 68, AUB 52Recap