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No. 15 Gators hit road for Auburn

GATOR HOOPS

No. 15 Florida remains tied atop the SEC standings with Kentucky and South Carolina and looks to hold strong with a road win against Auburn this weekend.

UF is playing defense at an elite level during its six-game win streak, holding each of its last six opponents below the scoring and shooting averages with which they entered the games.

The Gators rank second in the conference in scoring defense (65.2 allowed points per game), forced turnovers (15.9) and steals (8.1). They'll need to continue those numbers against an up-tempo, high-scoring Tigers team led by freshman guard Mustapha Heron, who averages 15.9 points per game.

"[He's] super talented," head coach Mike White said. "Scores at all three levels. Can go get his own shot. Big and strong. Beautiful stroke. Can score in isolations, can score in ball screens."

"Their tempo offensively and defensively is very, very fast, of course. They wanna turn you over. They throw different look at you, of course, with baseline and sideline out-of-bounds coverages. We're okay with tempo. Some of our best games -- performances -- have been a little bit faster."

The Gators have outscored opponents by an average margin of 24.8 points in their last six games. They hit the road for four of their next six contests, but they're feeling confident heading into the final stretch.

"I think we're feeling pretty confident because we got ourselves in a good rhythm toward the end of conference play," forward Justin Leon said. "I think as long as we keep playing the way we've been playing, I think we'll be okay."

White says Auburn is probably the only team in the country that boasts seven players who are a three-point shooting threat. But, he could say the same thing about his own team, which has 5-7 capable three-point shooters on a given night. Justin Leon said he and Devin Robinson stay after practice every day and shoot threes from seven different spots on the floor. They're not allowed to go home until they make 20 out of 30 shots from each spot.

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