The Charm City Gators will host a viewing party for the Florida vs. Mississippi game at the Greene Turtle at McHenry Row (Locust Point right off of I-95). For ALL our Charm City Gators who come out and attend the game-watch party event this Saturday, we will be having 3 free drawings for “Turtle Bucks” good for use at the Green Turtle McHenry Row to be held pre-game, during half-time, and at post-game!
With two more victories last week to bring their win streak up to 17 games, the Florida Gators moved up to No. 2 in the latest AP Top-25 Poll. The Gators now head back to Gainesville for a Wednesday night contest against Auburn (7:00 p.m., ESPNU) before traveling to the Magnolia State to face Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss on national TV Saturday morning/afternoon in Oxford (12:00 p.m. EST/11:00 a.m. CST, CBS).
Florida (23-2, 12-0 SEC) continued its unbeaten run to start conference play by surviving two road tests last week, first at Tennessee, and then at Rupp Arena against then No. 14 Kentucky on Saturday night. Senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin scored a career-high 21 points in the win over the Vols on Tuesday evening and then surpassed it by pouring in 23 in the victory against the Wildcats. In addition, Wilbekin dished out eight assists in the two games, while not turning the ball over, and was named the SEC Player of the Week.
For the year, Wilbekin is one of four Gators averaging double-digit points (13.5 ppg). Classmate Casey Prather still paces the Orange and Blue, scoring at a 15.7 ppg clip. Senior forward Patric Young was instrumental for UF in the road wins, and is now averaging 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Auburn (12-11, 4-8 SEC) enters Wednesday’s tilt at the O’Connell Center winners of four of its last six games, including a 92-82 home victory over Mississippi State on Saturday. Chris Denson scored 30 points in the win and KT Harrell added 26 for the Tigers who stayed close with the Gators in a 68-61 UF victory in Alabama on Jan. 18. Denson leads the league and ranks 16th in the nation in scoring this season (20.9 ppg) while Harrell ranks fifth in the league and 48th nationally (19.2 ppg).(Even with the win, the highlight of the night was this full-court putt by Auburn fan Patrick Burch.)
The Gators are 19-4 against Auburn under head coach Billy Donovan, but still trail in the all-time series 87-74. Including January’s win, Florida has taken six straight meetings with the Tigers.
Ole Miss (16-9, 7-5 SEC) starts the week on a two-game slide and welcomes Kentucky to Oxford on Tuesday night before the Gators invade over the weekend. The Rebels lost at Alabama last Tuesday, 67-64, and then fell at Georgia on Saturday, 61-60.
Senior Marshall Henderson is averaging 19.5 ppg this season, the fourth-best average in the SEC, and 39th in the nation. Ole Miss ranks fourth in scoring in the league (76.2 ppg) but is 12th in scoring defense, yielding 71.6 ppg.
Florida defeated the Rebels 78-64 in Gainesville last year behind 19 points from Eric Murphy, but Ole Miss exacted revenge in the SEC Championship game, claiming the league title, 66-63, courtesy of 21 points from Henderson and 23 points from Murphy Holloway. Every Gator fan remembers that loss and the manner in which the Rebels, Henderson in particular, conducted themselves. The Gators will look to get revenge Saturday.