Gators Stop Tiger Comeback in Gainesville

Gainesville, Fla.--Florida made a strong run to open the second half and Auburn never recovered as the Lady Gators held on for 73-67 SEC women's basketball victory on Thursday night at the O'Connell Center.

Auburn fell to 3-4 in the SEC and 15-7 overall despite 30 points from junior DeWanna Bonner, but she didn't have much help vs. the Gators, who improved their league record to 4-4 and overall mark to 15-8.

Auburn, which led by as many as five points in the first half, was down 27-26 at halftime before the Gators quickly built a double-digit lead. AU hit only 10-35 first half shots and saw its record drop to 0-7 in games in which the Tigers trailed at intermission.

The Tigers managed to cut the lead to three points in the closing minute, but Sha Brooks, who was a perfect 8-8 at the foul line, hit clutch free throws to preserve the win. She scored 16 for the Gators while Jennifer Mossor came off the bench to hit 7-10 field goals and lead her team in scoring with 17 points.

Bonner, who was 10-22 from the field, 1-5 on threes and 9-11 at the foul line, also led Auburn in rebounding with nine.

Tamela McCovery and Sherrell Hobbs scored 10 points apiece for Auburn and Alli Smalley fouled out after scoring seven.

Auburn shot just 36.2 percent for the game while Florida hit 48.1 percent of its shots. That proved to be the difference along with UF's accuracy at the foul line where the Lady Gators hit 16-19 shots compared to 12-14 for Auburn.

The Tigers were out-rebounded 37-35, but had just 12 turnovers, six less than UF.

Auburn coach Nell Fortner noted that Bonner came through for the Tigers with a strong road performance. "She just didn't get a lot of help tonight, but she did play very hard," the coach said.

"We had a very slow start to the second half," Fortner said. "That is where the ball game was won right there. We were down one. They got up 10 and we never quite recovered from that."

Auburn returns to action with a 2 p.m. game on Sunday at Arkansas.

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