Frontcourt leads Florida over Auburn in O’Dome

By Adam Silverstein
February 18, 2010

Led by a strong all-around effort from junior forward Chandler Parsons, the Florida Gators (18-8, 7-4 SEC) held on for a 78-70 victory over the Auburn Tigers (12-14, 3-8 SEC) Thursday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

In a must-win game for the Gators, their frontcourt players stepped up from the get-go, scoring 42 of the team’s 78 points and amassing 23 of Florida’s 28 rebounds. Parsons, who led the Gators with a team-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting with five rebounds and four assists, had plenty of support from starting juniors F Alex Tyus (12 points, seven rebounds) and center Vernon Macklin (seven points, four rebounds). Surprisingly, it was Florida’s bench that truly made the difference as senior F Dan Werner went 3-for-5 for nine points and four boards and freshman F Erik Murphy contributed seven points on 3-of-3 shooting with three rebounds.

Read the rest of OGGOA’s Florida vs. Auburn game story after the jump!

Werner began the game 2-for-2 from the field, his first baskets since facing Mississippi State on Feb. 6. His nine points were the most he had scored since putting up 11 against Vanderbilt on Jan. 9. Conversely, sophomore point guard Erving Walker had trouble hitting anything from the field. He finished 0-for-6 with six assists but managed to score 14 points off of 16 free throw attempts. Freshman guard Kenny Boynton added 10 points of his own and went 5-of-7 from the line to help the Gators finish an impressive 32-for-40 (80 percent) from the charity stripe.

Beginning the game with an early lead, Florida allowed Auburn to take over with a three-pointer from G Andre Malone with 6:47 left in the first half; it would be the last time the Tigers would lead on Thursday. Up three at the break, the Gators used a 10-1 run to open up a nine-point lead (52-43) with 13:51 left on the clock. A sequence of Werner driving the lane for a strong left-handed dunk and Tyus catching a powerful alley-oop got the Rowdy Reptiles on their feet. Riding the momentum, Florida would take a game-high 11-point lead with 9:39 remaining, though Auburn quickly responded with a 9-3 run on three straight three-pointers to cut its deficit to five with 5:45 left.

The Tigers used 7-2 run to reduce the Gators’ lead to 72-68 with only 47.9 ticks on the clock. Though they did not score a field goal in the last 8:26 of the game, Florida hit 15-of-20 free throws in the contest’s final minutes to pull out the home win.

G DeWayne Reed led Auburn with 22 points and six assists while G Tay Walker added 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds. F Lucas Hargrove finished with two points after going 0-for-3 from the field.

The Gators continue their stretch of three games in six days as they hit the road Saturday to take on the Ole Miss Rebels at noon. The game will air live on CBS. Florida will then return home to host the Tennessee Volunteers at 9 p.m. on Feb. 23.


  1. Mitch says:

    Good to get a win, but struggles continue. Have to really pick up our game to beat Ole Miss and UT. What is the deal with attendance? Great to be on ESPN, but half empty Odome not impressive

  2. Wingtee says:

    Mitch people don’t care about Gator Basketball. They fill it with Kentucky and that’s it. We are what we are , any delusion that we are a basketball school is ridiculous

  3. Really, they only fill the O’Dome for Kentucky? I’ve been to dozens of UF home games both as a student and not and never (except for the exhibition games) have I seen attendance as pathetic as what has been out there this season. People don’t come out for Kentucky, they come out when the team is good. And right now, it isn’t. It is unfortunate that the fan support is not there, because it could really help them a great deal vs. Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Hopefully those games are sold out.

  4. Mitch says:

    Adam – even in our heyday of NC seasons, you could always get in a game. When my kids were UF students, they were able to get me a guest ticket for most any game, save UK. I was at UF in the days of Alligator Alley, with UF teams far worse than this. We always had good crowds, and the Alley was considered one of the tougher places to play in the SEC. I think the higher ticket costs and contribution requirements may be taking its toll. If I lived in Gainesville I would be at every game. But from Orlando, I just cant justify the drive for a 2 hour event, unlike football which is an all day party.

  5. Mitch – Anyone can get a ticket to any game anywhere with very few exceptions. For a Florida basketball game, I am quite sure that as a paying non-student customer it would be relatively easy to find a ticket at any time even during those seasons. However, the most passionate, “rowdy” and important fans for college games (in my opinion) are the students, who receive free admission as long as they sign up. During the NC seasons and even those where they were good but not great, student tickets sold out minutes-to-hours after they were made available and the only way to get in was to borrow a friend’s ID. That is not happening now. That is what is concerning. Not the adults and single ticket buyers. If the stadium was half-full on the paid customers end but sold out on the students end, that is all I care about. No one would expect you, from Orlando, to drive up for a UF basketball game that is on TV. I know I wouldn’t. Even if they were in the title hunt. But what I would expect is that there are more than enough students who would want to go to a free game…because there always had been in the past.

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