Florida routs No. 4 Auburn, 69-47

Florida sophomore guard Noah Locke drains a 3-point basket Saturday against Auburn at Exactech Arena. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

It wasn’t quite at the Michael Jordan level, but Andrew Nembhard had a flu game of his own.

The sophomore guard played 26 minutes despite missing two practices and the Saturday shootaround with the flu and helped Florida get a huge one against fourth-ranked Auburn, 69-47.

Nembhard only had six points and five assists, but he guided the Gator attack for much of the game.

Auburn (15-2) lost its second straight game in part because of a lousy shooting performance (25.5 percent for the game).

And the Tigers had no answer for UF sophomore Omar Payne, who had 19 points to lead the Gators and 11 rebounds. Senior Kerry Blackshear Jr. had 16 rebounds and 11 points for Florida.

Florida (12-5, 4-1 in the SEC) shot 50 percent and never allowed Auburn to have the lead in the entire game.

Florida’s next game will be Tuesday at LSU at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network. LSU entered Saturday night’s game at Ole Miss with a 12-4 record and the Tigers were 4-0 in SEC play.

Auburn made only 6-of-29 shots in the first half, but hung around because of 10-for-10 free throw shooting and 12 Florida turnovers.

Still, the Gators were able to carve out a 28-23 lead as Blackshear had 11 rebounds in the half.

The Gators increased that lead to 12 midway through the second half on a 3-point shot by Noah Locke. Florida led 58-44 with 4:27 to play when Payne converted a 3-point play after a rebound.

From there, Florida could do little wrong and Auburn could do little right. The Gators only had three turnovers in the second half.


  1. Congrats, Gators! Congrats, Omar Payne on a monster game and your first double-double. So great to see Payne and Blackshear combine for 30 points and 27 rebounds. Can’t remember the last time two Gator bigs had a game like that. Probably have to go back to Noah and Horford.

    Needed this one before traveling to Baton Rouge and then facing Baylor. Go Gators!!!

  2. Offense looked pretty good in the second half. Payne’s the MAN of the hour and he made his SEC presence known. I hope he keeps up that intensity and White gives him major minutes to do his thing. He’s growing up fast. Whole team played great defense. Pounded Auburn. Keep it up!!!

  3. An amazing ”Quadrant 1” win, Coach White & staff and Florida Gators Men’s Basketball!
    Put that ”sweet victory” on the on the ”resume for March” and chomp-on Florida Gators! 1 Tiger down, 1 to go! Chomp-chomp!