Top-ranked Gators hit the SEC road
Auburn, AL (Sports Network) – The top-ranked Florida Gators continue their
feverish run through the SEC, as they travel to Alabama this weekend to
battle the Auburn Tigers from the Beard-Eaves Coliseum.
This is the third straight SEC West foe for Florida, which moved to 5-0
in league play with this week’s 70-67 win over Mississippi State. Since a
loss to Florida State on December 3rd, the Gators have strung together 11
straight victories to move to 18-2 overall.
The Tigers are facing their seventh top-10 team this season and their
second ranked opponent in a row, after routing 12th-ranked Alabama this
week, 81-57. The victory evened Auburn’s league mark at 3-3 and pushed
the team to 13-8 overall.
Auburn leads the all-time series with Florida, 86-65, but the Gators have
closed the gap a bit with seven straight wins over the Tigers coming into this
Florida struggled to get a three-point win over Mississippi State this week,
as the team shot just .417 from the floor and turned the ball over 15 times.
Corey Brewer led the team to victory with a game-high 20 points. Florida
trailed at the break by four points, but went on an early run in the second
stanza to regain the momentum and earn the win. Taurean Green and Joakim Noah
added 11 and 10 points, respectively, while Al Horford just missed a double-
double with nine points and 14 rebounds. The Gators have been a much more
potent offensive squad on the season, averaging 82.3 ppg, while leading the
nation in field-goal percentage (.542). All five starters are averaging double
digits, led by Green’s 13.5 ppg. Brewer and Noah follow at 12.8 ppg each, with
Horford (11.8 ppg) and Lee Humphrey (10.4 ppg) getting into the act as well.
Noah and Horford provide the muscle on the glass, combining for just over 17
rebounds per game.
The Tigers are a decent offensive team as well, averaging 73.3 ppg, on a
steady .452 shooting. The team also boasts of five double-digit averages,
proof of serious scoring depth. Quan Prowell and Rasheem Barrett lead the way
with 12.4 ppg each. They are followed closely by Frank Tolbert (12.2 ppg),
Korvotney Barber (12.0 ppg) and Josh Dollard (11.6 ppg). Dollard leads the
team on the boards at 7.3 rpg, but gets plenty of help from Prowell (7.0 rpg)
and Barber (6.3 rpg). Auburn dispensed of Alabama this week thanks to a
crushing 25-7 run to open up the second half. The victory halted a seven-game
win streak for Alabama in the series, as four Tigers finished in double
figures. Barber led the way with 18 points, Tolbert came off the bench to
tally 17, followed by Dollard, who had 16. Prowell notched a double-double
with 14 points and 10 rebounds, as Auburn shot .576 from the floor in the
game, including a ridiculous .679 in the second half (19-of-28).