AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — K.D. Johnson scored 23 points and No. 9 Auburn extended its winning streak to 11 with a 85-73 victory over Florida on Saturday night.
Auburn held off a big second-half surge by Florida (9-5, 0-2 Southeastern Conference), which was led by Colin Castleton’s 22 points and 10 rebounds. Anthony Duruji scored 14 for the Gators, while Myreon Jones added 13.
Jaylin Williams netted a season-high 14 points for the Tigers (14-1, 3-0), and Wendell Green Jr. added 13 for an Auburn team that outscored Florida 35-9 in bench points. Jabari Smith had 13 points and five rebounds.
Florida trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half but cut Auburn’s lead to one on a 3-pointer by Duruji with 8:37 left. Auburn answered with a quick pull-up 3-pointer by Smith. Johnson and Green then hit step-back 3-pointers of their own to extend the Tigers’ lead to double-digits again.
Florida: The Gators drew two tough matchups — No. 15 Alabama and No. 9 Auburn — to open SEC play this week. Coach Mike White’s team had strong stretches in both losses, but it will need to play more consistently across two halves to bounce back from an 0-2 start in the league.
Auburn: The Tigers’ greatest strength this season is its depth, and that was on full display Saturday. With three starters sitting significant portions of the second half due to foul trouble, Auburn was able to hold off a second-half surge by the Gators with their reserves.
Florida: Hosts LSU on Wednesday.
Auburn: Visits rival Alabama on Tuesday.
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