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Sunday February 27, 2000Gator men beat Auburn 88-59 to take East lead

Gainesville, FL

The 9th ranked Florida Gators used another big second half to defeat 11th ranked Auburn 88-59 at the O-Connell Center Sunday afternoon. Up 33-20 at the half, the Gators exploded for 55 second half points to win their 22nd game of the season and move into sole possession of first place in the SEC Eastern Division. Auburn did not have All-American forward Chris Porter available for Sunday's game. He was sent back home and is held out of competition while the school investigates possible contact between Porter and an agent. "Auburn's a little banged up right now, its unfortunate", said Gator coach Billy Donovan during his post-game radio interview, "the Chris Porter situation and D'Diaye (En-jeye) and Fishback being hurt, but all I can control is our basketball team and I was happy with the way our kids played and the way our kids competed". The Gators got a balanced scoring effort with Donnell Harvey (pictured left) scoring a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Brett Nelson made a trio of three's and finished with 14 points. Brent Wright and Mike Miller scored 13 points apiece while Udonis Haslem added 11. "I thought our guys started the game a little worked up", said Donovan. "In the second half, we really settled in, scored 55 points and it really, for us, worked out well." The win gives the Gators a one-game lead over Tennessee and Kentucky in the SEC East with two games to play. Florida's 22-5 mark equals the school's best record at this juncture of the season. Auburn's loss dropped them a full game behind LSU in the SEC West. Those two teams will square off Wednesday. Florida will host South Carolina in a 7 o-clock start Wednesday night at the O-Connell Center.
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