No. 11 Florida Too Much for Tigers

Auburn Tigers Forward Adrian Forbes (45) drives to the basket as Florida Gators forward/center Patric Young (4) defends during the second half at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville February 21, 2012.. Forbes scored a season-high 11 points, including 9 in the first half. Florida won the game 63-47.

The Auburn Tigers riding a wave of confidence from their defeat of No. 23 Mississippi State on Saturday, gave the Florida Gators all they could handle last night in Gainesville.

But in the end ...

The Gators' were just too much for the Tigers especially without Senior Forward Kenny Gabriel.

Injured twice, Kenny had to finally leave the game with a back injury with just under 12 minutes to go in the second half. He finished with eight points despite playing only 20 minutes.

Auburn could not generate any offense with Gabriel out of the game and succumbed to the No.11 Gators 63-47.

However, it was a valiant effort by the Tigers ...

as they played aggressive defense and held the Gators to 35 fewer points than in its previous game and seven points below their average.

The Tigers (14-13) forced 18 Gator turnovers and led at the half 30-27. Despite opening the second half with five 3-pointers, Florida (22-6) only had a five point lead when Gabriel took a hard fall to the floor after blocking a shot. When Gabriel left the court - the Gators pulled away.

Coach Barbee. said ...

Florida is a "Veteran seasoned team and you knew they were going to make a run, and we didn't have the firepower (and) with as good as an explosive offensive team as Florida is, we kept them seven below their average, but we have to score."

Even though Auburn is barely above 500 this season ...

I believe that Barbee has the program headed in the right direction. With the exception of a couple of games, this team plays with the kind of heart and tenacity that is encouraging.

They are only a year away. With that being said, I still think it's possible fot them to be selected for the NIT this year. But first they have to pass three final test, including playing Alabama in Tuscaloosa

Auburn has only two home games left ...

to close out the regular season. Arkansas this Saturday at 3 p.m. and LSU next Saturday. The Tigers need to have as many fans as possible turn out for those final two.

I hope to see you there.

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