No. 15 Florida roars past Auburn 114-95
No. 15 Florida roars past Auburn 114-95
- No. 15 Florida roars past Auburn 114-95
Published On: Tue, Feb 14
Dec 14, 2013; New York, NY, USA; (From left to right) Nothern Illinois Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch, and Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel, and Auburn Tigers running back Tre Mason, and Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron, and Boston College Eagles running back Andre Williams, and Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston pose for a photo during a press conference before the announcement of the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner at the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Scoring points against Auburn hasn't been tough to do this season.
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But No. 15 Florida took it to a new level by setting a school record for most points in an SEC game.
Senior guard Canyon Barry played the leading role and scored a season-best 30 points to help the Gators post a high-octane 114-95 victory over Auburn on Tuesday night at Auburn, Ala.
Florida's output also represented the most the Tigers (16-10, 5-8) have allowed in a game since giving up 117 to Arkansas on Jan. 15, 1994.
"This program is in good shape," Auburn coach Bruce Pearl insisted. "I'm not worried about the 23-year history of the program."
There defensive performance surely wasn't splendid as Florida scored 64 second-half points to become the third consecutive team to top 60 in the second half against the Tigers.
Sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen contributed 17 points and junior forward Devin Robinson added 14 as the Gators (21-5, 11-2) won their seventh consecutive game. Senior point guard Kasey Hill recorded a career-best 12 assists and also scored 11 points as Florida beat the Tigers for the 10th consecutive time and 20th in the past 21 meetings.
Hill became third player in program history to reach 500 career assists, which impressed coach Mike White, a former point guard at Mississippi from 1995-99.
"He's really evolved as more of a leader and more of a passer," White said. "He got guys shots today. ... Very solid game for him."
Junior point guard Chris Chiozza scored 11 points and junior center John Egbunu and senior forward Justin Leon added 10 points for the Gators. Egbunu did his damage in just eight minutes as he departed with a left knee injury midway through the first half and he is slated to undergo an MRI exam on Wednesday.
"I know this doesn't mean anything of course, but I know he's not in a ton of pain right now," White said of Egbunu. "Good for him, obviously. Great kid, we hope the best for him. He's very important to the Gators and he was having a heck of a game too before he got hurt, so very unfortunate."
The victory allowed Florida to remain in a tie for first place in the SEC. The Gators and Kentucky both improved to 11-2. Idle South Carolina can regain a share of the lead on Wednesday when it faces Arkansas.
Freshman forward Anfernee McLemore scored 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and senior guard T.J. Dunans added 13 for the Tigers. Freshman guard Mustapha Heron was held to nine points on 2-of-12 shooting and failed to reach double digits for the first time this season.
McLemore struggled to explain why Auburn continues to collapse in the second half.
"We just didn't play as intense as we did in the first half," McLemore said. "In the first half we were more excited. ... That kind of just made it more difficult for us."
"I'm not sure if it's because we're young or what. We are a good defensive team from the way we played in the first half."
Meanwhile, White didn't find Florida's victory to be overly artistic despite the season-high point total.
"It was just one of those nights where things were clicking for us offensively, led by Canyon Barry," White said. "He was terrific."
The second half belonged to the Gators and they started it with nine consecutive points. A 3-pointer by Chiozza capped the spurt for a 59-50 lead and Florida's lead reached 10 for the first time when Allen hit two free throws with 16:24 to play.
Auburn trailed 70-61 after a basket by freshman center Austin Wiley with 13:35 remaining before the Gators began to pull away.
Allen scored five consecutive points to cap a 12-4 burst as Florida pushed its lead to 17 with 11 minutes remaining. Barry's 3-pointer just less than three minutes later made it 92-73.
The Gators reached 100 points on Hill's two free throws with 5:22 left. Hill's jumper with 2:34 left made it 108-89 to give Florida its highest-scoring SEC game.
The lead topped out at 21 points on two free throws by Allen with 2:13 to play.
"We continue to struggle to defend," Pearl said. "Most of the guys in our locker room are better offensively than they are defensively."
Barry scored 19 first-half points, but the score was tied 50-50 at the break.
Florida experienced defensive issues in the first eight-plus minutes as Auburn connected on 10 of 16 shots from the field -- including five of eight from 3-point range -- while taking a 32-24 lead.
The Gators received six straight points from Egbunu and five in a row from Leon -- including the tiebreaking 3-pointer -- during an 11-0 burst to move ahead 35-32 with 9:06 to play.
Sophomore center Kevarrius Hayes connected on two free throws to give Florida a 46-40 lead with four minutes left. Later in the half, Dunans converted back-to-back putbacks to give Auburn a 50-48 edge before Robinson delivered a spectacular alley-oop dunk with 46 seconds left for the tie.
NOTES: Florida reserve SG Canyon Barry missed his fourth free throw of the game to end his school-record streak of 42 consecutive makes. He hit 11 of 12 against the Tigers. "You're going to miss eventually," Barry said. "Obviously I'd like to make all of them but in basketball and life, you're not going to." ... Auburn sophomore F Horace Spencer will undergo season-ending surgery on his left shoulder on Thursday. Spencer averaged 4.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 19 games before being injured on Jan. 31 against Tennessee. ... Florida senior PG Kasey Hill (502) moved into third place on the school's career assists list, passing Eddie Shannon (493, 1995-99). ... Tigers junior G TJ Lang (flu) was back after a one-game absence and scored four points in 10 minutes. ... The Gators won their ninth consecutive road game in the series. ... Auburn has allowed 90 or more points in four of its last seven games and given up an average of 91.1 during the stretch. ... Florida freshman C Gorjok Gak (foot) sat out the contest.
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