Gators smash #4 Tigers, 69-47

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) Florida welcomed fourth-ranked Auburn to the House Of Payne on Saturday.

Gator freshman forward Omar Payne scored 19 points on nine for nine shooting, and the Gators held the Tigers to 25 percent shooting from the field in a 69-47 win at the O'Connell Center. Florida improves to 12-5 overall, 4-1 in SEC play. Auburn suffers its second straight loss following a 15-0 start.

Kerry Blackshear, Jr. tallied 16 rebounds for Florida and managed 11 points despite shooting only 4 for 14 from the field. Noah Locke also added 11 points and sank a trio of three-pointers. Payne added 11 rebounds to his career-high point total.

Florida out-rebounded Auburn, 44-29, never trailed in the contest and used a late 14-0 run to put the game away. The Gators also played a lot cleaner in the second half, committing only three of their 15 turnovers after the break.

The victory enables the Gators to stay within a game of first play LSU in the SEC standings. Florida visits Baton Rouge on Tuesday.