Recap: Florida 68, Auburn 61
Updated On: Jan 19 2014 01:09:12 AM CST
No. 7 Florida 68, Auburn 61: Casey Prather scored 21 points in his return to the lineup as the visiting Gators held off the Tigers to run their winning streak to nine games.Scottie Wilbekin had 10 of his 16 points in the second half and Patric Young scored 13 to lift Florida (15-2, 4-0 SEC) to its 16th win in the last 17 meetings with Auburn (8-7, 0-4). The Gators held a 31-23 rebounding advantage and finished with 11 steals.Chris Denson scored 21 points and backcourt mate KT Harrell added 18 for the Tigers, whose four conference losses have come by a total of 23 points. Auburn hit 7-of-13 3-pointers but lost its 14th straight to an SEC opponent.Prather, who was expected to play limited minutes due to a bone bruise in his knee that sidelined him the previous two games, hit his first five shots and scored 14 points as the Gators surged to a 27-14 lead with just under five minutes left in the half. Auburn stormed back to go ahead as Harrell and Denson buried 3-pointers during a 14-0 burst before Wilbekin's two free throws sent Florida into the locker room up 33-32.The Gators built the lead back to eight points but could not shake the Tigers, who battled back to get within 51-50 on a pair of free throws by Denson with 8:02 to play and cut the deficit to 61-60 on Tahj Shamsid-Deen's jumper with 1:44 left. Wilbekin buried a fallaway jumper as the shot clock expired on the ensuing possession and added a free throw before Young swatted away Harrell's shot with under 30 seconds remaining.GAME NOTEBOOK: Prather, who entered averaging a team-best 17 points, has scored in double figures in all 16 games in which he's appeared this season. ... Tigers F Chris Griffin, who was suspended last weekend for violating school policy, has withdrawn from the school and will look to play elsewhere. The junior college transfer was averaging 5.7 points. ... Gators G Michael Frazier II, the SEC leader in 3-point shooting, missed his only two shots and was held scoreless following a career-high 21 points in his previous game.
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