Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Sports

Gators blast Auburn

AUBURN, Ala. — Mike Rosario, Kenny Boynton and No. 7 Florida were brutally efficient.

The Gators made the extra passes, hit a season-high 15 3-pointers and pretty much confounded Auburn's shooters in a systematic 83-52 rout Saturday.

Rosario scored a season-high 22, Boynton had 16 and the Gators (21-3, 11-1 SEC) raced to a 25-point halftime lead.

"We had 25 assists in the game, but you don't get 25 assists unless the ball goes in the basket, and the ball went in the basket for us," Florida coach Billy Donovan said.

It really was just that simple.

Auburn (9-16, 3-9) matched its worst loss in coach Tony Barbee's three seasons, tying a 90-59 defeat to Mississippi on Feb. 16, 2011. It also was the Tigers' worst home loss since an 88-48 blowout by Kentucky in 1952.

The Gators have won their past three SEC games by an average of 24 points since their only league loss at Arkansas.

Rosario had 18 points — two shy of his previous high this season — by halftime, when the game was effectively over. Tampa's Michael Frazier added 15 points and made 5 of 6 3-pointers for Florida, which has won seven straight at Auburn.

Erik Murphy added 11 points and made 3 of 4 3s.

Chris Denson led Auburn with 13 points and Jordan Price had 12.

Barbee said his team "just ran into a buzz saw."

"We played a veteran, experienced team and they proved why they are one of the best teams in the league and in the country," Barbee said. "I told our guys I was disappointed in the overall defensive intensity and attention to detail. You have to learn playing against teams like that. They have a veteran group now that has been doing it together for a couple of years, so you see why they play with such chemistry on the offensive and defensive end of the floor."

It was a precision performance by one of the SEC's hottest teams against one that had lost nine of 10 going in.

The Gators hit 31 of 54 shots (57 percent) and held Auburn to 19-of-54 shooting (35 percent).

"We shot a lot of 3s and when we're shooting like that, it's hard to beat a team," Donovan said.

Especially when the stat sheet includes numbers like this: assists on 25 of 31 baskets and 18 points off Auburn's 14 turnovers.

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