Florida at Auburn game preview

Game time: 1:30 p.m.
TV: ESPNU

Florida isn’t finding very much resistance in

the SEC this season, and that’s certainly been the case for nearly 13

years when facing Auburn.

The

seventh-ranked Gators will try to avoid overlooking the lowly Tigers and

further pad their lead atop the conference Saturday.

Florida (20-3, 10-1) is outscoring SEC foes by an average of 22.1

points while hitting 50.4 percent from the floor and 41.0 from 3-point

range. Those staggering numbers are why the Gators lead the conference

with a two-game cushion on No. 25 Kentucky and Alabama.

They flexed their muscles again Tuesday, thumping the Wildcats 69-52 at home.

Florida is playing the next two games on the road, where it’s 6-3 and

suffered it’s only conference defeat – 80-69 to Arkansas on Feb. 5.

The Gators host the Razorbacks next Saturday after a two-game trip that includes visits to Auburn (9-15, 3-8) and Missouri.

It would seem a meeting with Auburn should keep Florida rolling since

it’s won 14 of the past 15 overall matchups, and 13 in a row during the

regular season.

The Gators ran their road

winning streak in the series to six games on Jan. 20, 2011, edging the

Tigers 45-40 despite shooting 28.3 percent from the field.

That’s probably unlikely to happen again since Florida is making a

conference-high 49.3 percent from the field on the season, and is coming

off a 6-for-14 effort from long range against Kentucky.

Kenny Boynton, the team leader with 12.9 points per game, scored 20

in a 63-47 victory over Auburn in the only matchup last season on Feb.

21. The senior guard is averaging 15.8 points while connecting on 21 of

44 from behind the arc over the past six road games.

Another strong performance from center Patric Young may be key with

forward Will Yeguete out for a third consecutive game recovering from

knee surgery. Young got his sixth double-double of the season Tuesday,

pouring in 12 points and grabbing 11 boards while adding four blocks.

“When he gives incredible effort and plays with a really good motor,

he’s capable of getting double-doubles every night,” coach Billy Donovan

said.

Casey Prather is giving Florida

some production off the bench, scoring 12 points in each of the last two

games while making 11 of 17 from the field. That’s a welcome sight for

the Gators after the junior swingman missed the first five games with a

pair of concussions and three more later in the season due to an ankle

injury.

“It’s so exciting to see him do

what he’s doing,” Yeguete told the team’s official website. “That’s

Casey. He can bring so much energy and fire to the court. He’s making

shots, he’s taking charges, taking care of the ball, and above all else

just playing with confidence.”

The same can’t be said of Auburn, which has lost eight of nine after winning six of the previous eight.

“We don’t have anything to lose so everybody just has to go in and fight,” guard Chris Denson said.

That didn’t seem to happen Wednesday, when the Tigers fell 83-75 at home to Arkansas.

“We had 16 turnovers and not one of them was against the press. That

tells you all you need to know,” coach Tony Barbee said. “We had 10

between two seniors. That tells you all you need to know.”

Denson was one of the few bright spots Wednesday, getting 18 points

and five assists after scoring 15 in a 72-62 loss at Kentucky four days

prior.