National Basketball Association
Florida 63, Auburn 62
When: 2:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 19, 2022
Where: Billy Donovan Court at Exactech Arena, Gainesville, Florida
Officials: # Bart Lenox, # Don Dailey, # Pat Evans
Attendance: 11255

Florida's Tyree Appleby scored 20 of his team-high 26 points in the second half as the Gators held on to beat No. 2 Auburn for the 14th straight time at home, stunning the Tigers 63-62 Saturday in Gainesville, Fla.

Appleby's fifth 3-pointer lifted the Gators (17-10, 7-7 Southeastern Conference) to a 61-53 lead with 2:17 left, but the Tigers (24-3, 12-2) wouldn't go away.

Auburn cut it to one and forced a steal on an inbounds play in the final 10 seconds, but Wendell Green Jr. could not get off a potential game-winner following a Tigers timeout and time expired.

By beating the Tigers, Florida defeated its highest-ranked opponent ever on its home floor.

Colin Castleton notched 19 points and eight rebounds for the Gators, whose last home loss against Auburn was on Feb. 10, 1996.

Florida's win was an important one, as it was just its second over a Quad 1 foe.

Auburn's Jabari Smith had a big second half to help his club build a 35-26 lead with 15:22 remaining. He finished with a game-high 28 points and made 4 of 5 3-pointers and 10 of 11 from the stripe.

K.D. Johnson scored 12 points and Walker Kessler posted 11 for the Tigers.

In their second matchup against Auburn, the Gators jumped out to an 8-3 lead behind 3-pointers by Appleby and Phlandrous Fleming Jr. and two free throws by Castleton in the game's first 2:22.

The visitors struggled offensively in the first 20 minutes and went through a 2-for-13 shooting spell as Florida moved ahead 16-12.

Failing to lead at all in the first half, Auburn played sloppy with the ball as well -- committing nine turnovers and not reaching the foul line -- and did not produce any fastbreak points before intermission.

Despite making just 7 of 27 shots, Florida led 22-21 at the break, while Auburn was only marginally better, connecting on 9 of 27. But the Gators did sink 5 of 6 free throws.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Auburn   Florida
Jabari Smith 28 Scoring Tyree Appleby 26
Wendell Green Jr. 5 Assists Phlandrous Fleming Jr. 5
Jabari Smith 7 Rebounds Colin Castleton 8
Jabari Smith 10 Free Throws Made Tyree Appleby 7
Dylan Cardwell 1 Steals Colin Castleton 2
Dylan Cardwell 1 Blocks Colin Castleton 3
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Auburn 62 40.0 5-14 17-20 9 30 2 5 17
Florida 63 36.5 10-25 15-19 9 24 4 8 11