Florida vs. Auburn score, takeaways: Gators offense ice cold as Tigers roll in blowout

By Adam Silverstein
February 5, 2019
Florida vs. Auburn score, takeaways: Gators offense ice cold as Tigers roll in blowout

Image Credit: Courtney Culbreath, UAA Communications

Unlike recent games where the Florida Gators have lost large leads in the second half, they never had any advantage like that on Tuesday against the Auburn Tigers. In what was a near wire-to-wire victory, Auburn (16-6, 5-4 SEC) blasted Florida (12-10, 4-5 SEC) behind an offensive showcase to pick up a 76-62 win in Auburn, Alabama.

Let’s take a look at what went down in Florida’s latest second-straight loss.

It was over when … The Tigers bounced back from a short Gators scoring stretch with a 9-2 run to take a game-high 18-point lead with 8:28 to play. Florida cut Auburn’s large first-half lead to just six points at the break on a running layup by KeVaughn Allen but were unable to maintain that momentum in the second half. Early in the latter period, AU put together a 13-2 run as UF went just 1-for-5 from the field.

The Gators never saw their deficit shorter than eight points in the second half. Florida went 2-for-12 from the floor late in the game, going more than 5 minutes without a make. It hit just 9-of-25 field goals in the second half and shot a paltry 4-for-20 from downtown in the game. Auburn built its early lead on a 6-for-17 mark from beyond the arc in the first half and hit 3 of 8 in the second half from the same distance.

Exceptional efforts: None of note for the second-straight game. Florida had three players score in double digits, but none were consistent. Allen finished with 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting but missed all three of his triples. Freshman G Noah Locke scored 10 points — all in the first half — and was silent late in the game. Even senior center Kevarrius Hayes, who stepped up to make all five of his free throws, only grabbed four boards and committed five fouls.

Odds and ends: UF went 12-for-12 from the line but did not attempt a single free throw in the first half; AU had 27 opportunities from the charity stripe … Auburn outscored Florida in every facet of the game, holding a lead for 36:13 … the Tigers were also more aggressive defensively than the Gators, winning the turnover margin 10-17 … this was Auburn’s first victory against Florida in their last 12 meetings; UF had won 11 straight and 21 of the last 22 against AU

What it means: The Gators lost back-to-back games for the second time since the calendar turned to 2019 and will be heavy underdogs on Saturday against the nation’s top team. Florida likely needed one victory in this three-game stretch to pick up a Quadrant 1 win and become a legitimate NCAA Tournament contender. Instead, it may be sitting at 12-11 overall and 4-6 in the SEC by the time its next game is over. That does not mean the Gators could not play their way into the tournament still, they would just need to be incredible down the stretch and make some noise in the SEC Tournament.

Up next: Florida travels to face No. 1 Tennessee on Saturday. The Vols previously beat the Gators 78-67 back on Jan. 12.

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