Maryland's Fatts Russell (4) knocks the ball away from Florida's Phlandrous Fleming, Jr. (24) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Florida men’s basketball looks for first SEC win against Auburn

The Florida men’s basketball team (9-4, 0-1 SEC) hits the road Saturday for a matchup against No. 9 Auburn (13-1, 2-0 SEC). This is a chance for the Gators to redeem themselves after Alabama beat Florida Wednesday 83-70.

Florida

The Gators came out strong in the first half against Alabama but lost steam in the second. Florida committed a season-high 2o turnovers and shot 42.3 percent on only 52 attempts overall in the game. In the second half, UF shot just 34.6 percent.

Senior Colin Castleton and junior CJ Felder led the Gators in the game. Castleton recorded 19 points, making seven out of 10 shots, while Felder followed closely behind with 12 points and five of 10 shots successful. The two also led UF in rebounds with seven for Castleton and six for Felder.

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Auburn

The ninth-ranked Auburn Tigers boast a 10-game winning streak heading into Saturday’s matchup. The Tigers crushed South Carolina Tuesday with an 81-66 win. Sophomore Wendell Green Jr. had an astounding 22-point performance, a season-high for the guard. Green has scored double figures the last six games after coming off the bench.

Another dominant figure in the game for Auburn was Walker Kessler. The sophomore secured his fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds along with four blocks in the game.

Sonny Smith, longtime Auburn basketball coach and now the color analyst for Auburn Basketball, said what sets the Tigers apart from other teams is their defense.

Matchup History

While Auburn leads the series all-time versus Florida, the Gators look to extend their two-game winning streak against the Tigers. Florida defeated No. 4 Auburn at home, 69-47, in the 2019-2020 season and later beat the Tigers in Auburn territory last season, 74-57.

Saturday’s game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. in Auburn Arena. Catch coverage of the match here on 98.1 FM – 850 AM WRUF at 7:25 p.m.

About Kaitlyn Wadulack

Kaitlyn Wadulack is a third-year journalism student specializing in sports and media at the University of Florida. You can reach Kaitlyn at k.wadulack@ufl.edu

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