January 12, 2008

Gators pull away from Tigers with late run

Just two days removed from a close home loss to Arkansas, [tm]Auburn[/tm] hung with a talented Florida team but fell flat in the final five minutes as the Gators pulled away for a 72-56 win Saturday afternoon at the O'Connell Center.

Florida led by as much as 12 points midway through the second half but a 15-7 run capped by a pull-up jumper by Frank Tolbert cut the Gators' lead to 58-54 with 5:16 remaining.

The Gators finished the game with a 14-2 run including seven points from point guard Jai Lucas to put away a tired Auburn squad that was again forced to play with just seven scholarship players due to injuries and suspensions.

The Tigers were 0-of-3 from the field and committed two turnovers during the Gators final run.

"I thought our kids executed our gameplan very well with one day to get ready," said Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo. "We had the type of game we thought we needed to have, a half court situation, a low-scoring game.

"I really feel for the kids. I am proud of them. They competed and battled on the road. As a coach, on the road, under five and you have a chance to win, you have to feel good."

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