February 21, 2012; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators guard Erving Walker (11) drives to the basket as Auburn Tigers guard Josh Wallace (11) defends during the first half at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Fresh off what was probably their most dominating performance of the season, the Florida Gators took advantage of the Auburn Tigers' zone defense in the second half and ran away with things to the tune of a 63-47 victory. The late switch by the Tigers defense from zone to man proved futile as the Gators erased a three-point halftime deficit and outscored the Tigers 36-17 in the second half.
With the win the Gators improve to 22-6 overall on the year and 10-3 in the SEC.
Kenny Boynton led the way for the Gators with 20 points, while Bradley Beal and Erving Walker chipped in with 13 points apiece. As a team the Gators shot 52% from the field (including 54% from beyond the arc) and out-rebounded the Tigers by twelve.
Boynton and Walker combined to hit 9 of 16 three pointers in one of their best overall performances (read: shot selection) of the season.
Erik Murphy and Patric Young were largely ineffective during the course of the game, combining for 10 points and 11 rebounds between the two of them. The third and final star of the night for the Gators was freshman Bradley Beal who at the final whistle had amassed 13 points and 6 rebounds.
As for the Tigers, the only player to finish with double digits in points was Adrian Forbes, who finished with 11-points and 6-rebounds. The Tigers shot 33% from the field (including 35% from beyond the arc) and shot a dismal 46% from the charity stripe.
The Tigers' last lead in the game was with fourteen minutes remaining when they held a 37-36 advantage.
If you're looking for something to be concerned about for the Gators, look no further than the turnover line. The Gators had to overcome 18 turnovers (15 of them in the first 28 minutes) in their victory tonight over the Tigers. This is much easier to do in February than in March and with the Gators' lineup and how they go about their business, turnovers is key.
The Gators next play at Georgia on Saturday.