GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Behind a pair of 20-point performances from Riley Kugel and Walter Clayton Jr. and 19 points by Zyon Pullin, the Gators upset No. 12 Auburn on Saturday with a convincing 81-65 win.
Kugel scored a team-high 22, Clayton posted his seventh 20-point game of the season and Pullin became the fifth Gator since 1996-97 to score double figures in 20 straight games.
The Gators opened Saturday’s contest with runs of 13-2 and 13-3 to build a double-digit lead in the first half and then stretched that margin to 29 points with a 22-7 stretch to start the second period.
Florida has won five of its last six games and improves to 10-1 this season on its home floor. The victory marked UF’s 15th consecutive home win against Auburn, the last four all coming against top-25 Tigers teams.
In the videos below, check out highlights from the Gators’ win over the Tigers.
Gators highlights vs. Auburn
Todd Golden on the win
“I thought we played great. You know, just start to finish, our best effort of the year, obviously. Auburn, for more reasons obviously than simply my relationship with Bruce and Steven, and guys like Chad Prewett, who I worked with for a couple years, going into this game, especially the way they’ve been playing, off the back of that win at home against Alabama where they controlled the game for 40 minutes. If you were to ask me, you know, is Auburn in the mix of teams that could win a national championship, I’d say ‘hell yeah.’ They’re playing as well as anybody – top-10 offense, top-3 defense, a lot of continuity on the roster, a lot of really, really good players, you know, and then we come out and we play our best game of the year against them. And obviously it’s in the same bucket as the Kentucky win, you know, it’s a great, great program-lifting win, but where I’m really proud of our team and our program is, as you all know, we’ve been playing really well, you know, we had won four out of the last five going into this game, but we were having trouble maintaining leads in the second half. We were having trouble keeping our foot on the pedal, and at halftime, the message was simple to the guys, I say ‘hey, it’s time for us to grow up a little bit, we got a 16-point lead against a great team, but we’re not just going to try to get this thing to the finish line, we got to come out and be aggressive’, and I think we scored 20 points in the first six or seven minutes of the second half to really set the tone that way. So, you know, obviously a lot of positives, really pleased with our effort today, and I feel like our guys are starting to gain some really good confidence right now.”