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Auburn Goes Cold, Falls to Florida

The Tigers were a turnover machine on the road, lose 72-66.

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

From the time that Florida hit a 66-foot buzzer beater to go up by nine points at the end of the first half, you could tell that it wasn’t really Auburn’s night.

Kevaughn Allen buried a three-quarter-courter at the buzzer to put the Gators up 33-24 at the break, and Florida hung on to win 72-66 in a game that ended a three-game losing streak.

Auburn committed 16 turnovers and allowed Florida to score 14 points off of those giveaways. In addition, the Gators went 13-28 from three, while Auburn took a long time to get going at hit only eight threes in the game.

The Tigers fell behind 10-2 early on with the Gators beginning the game on a hot streak, but a low-scoring first half saw Auburn tie the game at 24 in the final moments. Florida hit two threes before Kevaughn Allen’s heave found the net as time expired in the first half, putting Florida up 33-24 at the break.

In the second half, Auburn fell behind by 14, but clawed back to pull within just a few points. The Tigers trailed by four for much of the second half, never able to get closer than that until Mustapha Heron’s three gave Auburn their first lead of the game at 57-56 with 3:55 to play. Both teams went back and forth after that, with Auburn regaining the lead at 62-60 on a Desean Murray three-point play, then at 64-63 on two free throws from Heron. Jared Harper tied the game at 66 after Florida retook the lead on Kevaughn Allen’s sixth three of the game, but Auburn would not score again, falling 72-66.

Mustapha Heron led Auburn with 22 points after returning from a midweek stomach virus, while Kevaughn Allen led all scorers with 24 points, including six threes. Auburn’s record now stands at 24-5 overall, and 12-4 in the SEC, and the chance to clinch at least a share of the SEC Championship will have to wait until Tuesday, when they’ll visit Bud Walton Arena to play Arkansas.