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."
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