The No. 11/12 Florida Gators started slow but pulled away from the Auburn Tigers in the second half of Tuesday night’s game, eventually routing their visitors 63-47.
Down 30-27 at the break after playing “careless” basketball including committing 12 turnovers and making a number of extremely poor decisions in the first half, the Gators received a stern talking to by head coach Billy Donovan in the locker room.
Senior point guard Erving Walker summed it up in three simple words: “You guys suck.”
Donovan was disappointed in his team not only for the turnovers but also because they played poor three-point defense and did not attack the boards on either end of the court.
“In the first half, there was nobody home mentally. We were slow reacting,” he said. “They beat us to a lot of loose basketballs and we were down by three. I think those guys realized that we got to kind of get going here a little bit.”
The first half ended with a microcosm of how the entire 20 minutes played out.
Rather than either trying to create a play or running the clock out as much as possible, Walker threw up and missed a long three-pointer that was rebounded and driven the entire length of the court for a buzzer-beating layup. Florida headed into the half down three, and Donovan knew he had to do something to help change his team’s fortunes.
“I spoke from my heart just how I felt about the way we played and what we did and what we needed to do,” he explained. “Those guys went out there and did it in the second half. They played very well and were able to get things turned around.”
Check out what Billy Donovan had to say to his team…after the break!
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