No. 6/7 Florida Gators (21-3, 11-1 SEC) basketball plowed its way through yet another Southeastern Conference opponent on Saturday, outscoring the Auburn Tigers (9-16, 3-9 SEC) by 25 points in the first half and holding on for a dominant 83-52 victory on the road at Auburn Arena in Auburn, AL.
The victory was the Gators’ eighth by 30+ points this season, five of which have now come in SEC play.
Florida shot 50 percent from three in the contest, hitting 15-of-30 shots from beyond the arc while registering 25 assists on 31 made baskets. The Gators scored 18 points off 14 turnovers and swiped nine steals on the afternoon.
Redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario scored 18 first-half points and registered a new career-high at Florida, scoring a game-high 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting to go along with five assists. He was one of four Gators to score in double figures.
Freshman guard Michael Frazier II drained 6-of-7 threes for a career-high 18 points, and senior guard Kenny Boynton hit 4-of-9 treys for 16 points. Boynton also grabbed five boards and dished four dimes.
Senior forward Erik Murphy brought down a game-high six rebounds while swishing 3-of-4 triples for 11 points. Junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin ran the offense well throughout the contest, registering a game-high 10 assists.
Florida took the upper hand from the get go, using a 9-0 run to jump ahead 13-3 less than five minutes into the contest. Still leading by 10 midway through the half, Rosario jump-started a 12-3 run with consecutive layups. He first hit a reverse scoop layup before running back on defense, grabbing an impressive steal and going coast-to-coast for an old-fashioned three-point play.
Consecutive three-pointers by Boynton and Frazier vaulted the Gators ahead by 21 points, and Florida closed the half on a 10-0 run to take a 47-22 lead at the break.
The Gators eventually doubled up the Tigers 72-36 with eight minutes left in the second half on the back of a 17-4 scoring stretch that included five-straight treys including three-in-a-row from Frazier.
Guards Chris Denson and Jordan Price did most of Auburn’s scoring, combining for 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting. The rest of the Tigers’ roster went 9-of-36 combined.
Florida remains on the road when it travels to Columbia, MO on Tuesday to take on Missouri for the second time this season. The game will air live on ESPN at 9 p.m. The Gators beat the Tigers 83-52 in Gainesville, FL on Jan. 19.
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