From the opening tip to the final buzzer the Florida Gators handled the Auburn Tigers.
Dorian Finney-Smith scored 14 points, Kasey Hill and Eli Carter had 12 respectively and Michael Frazier II added 11 as the Gators (10-6, 3-0 SEC) trounced the Tigers (9-7, 1-2 SEC) 75-55 At the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Thursday night.
The 20-point slaughter was fueled early in the first half when the Gators went on a 15-3 run over 6:23 to earn a 15-point lead. That run would burst open the game and Florida wouldn’t look back from there.
With all 10 players on the board for the Gators, Florida was able to execute their finest ball movement of the season in the past couple of games, giving them the advantage on the scoreboard.
“I think I might of said this since day one. I’ve always felt like these guys are an unselfish group,” head coach Billy Donovan said. “Their intentions have always been to play unselfishly. We got a better idea. We’ve added different players into the fold and I think there’s a better idea of what we’re trying to do.”
Executing was at an all-time high with points in the paint for the Gators as they outscored the Tigers 36-12 down low without a low-post game. Those paint points come from the team’s 14 assists and the Gators also capitalized on the Tiger’s 13 turnovers, in which they turned 16 points off of.
“You have to have a balance, but you’ve got to try to find and do creative things to try to get the ball to the basket,” Donovan said. “It’s through driving. It’s through movement. It’s through ball-faking. It’s through cutting. It’s through screening. We’ve got to find a way to put pressure at the basket.”
With posting a season-high 75 points, Florida has now scored above the 70-point mark in the last three games.
Led by Finney-Smith, who has posted points in double figures in his last nine outings and Frazier, who collected nine rebounds to tie his career-high, eclipsed the 900-point mark late in the second half in his Gator career.
Jon Horford and Zach Hodskins were back on the court with the team after serving suspensions. Horford was able to score five points and snag five rebounds. Hodskins did not play.
Heading into their fourth SEC game of the season with an undefeated slate, the Gators travel to Athens, Georgia, to match up against the Georgia Bulldogs at 2 p.m. who’ve started conference play at 1-2.
Florida looks to add to their dominant SEC start as they are outscoring their opponent by 16.3 points.
“The execution has been a little bit better. Our shooting percentage has been a little bit better,” Donovan said. “I’m anxious to see how we respond to the preparation piece of it with such a quick turnaround.”