Observations: Florida 74, Auburn 57
The latest 'hit in the gut' for Bruce Pearl's Tigers came before tipoff Tuesday night, and it was in the form of a walking boot on a left ankle.
SF Allen Flanigan (Shanna Lockwood/Auburn Athletics)
Bruce Pearl said more, but he really only needed two sentences to sum up Auburn’s 74-57 loss to Florida — and its entire season — on Tuesday night.
“This team's been through a lot,” Pearl said to open his postgame press conference.
Then, a couple of minutes later:
“I just think it's sort of a culmination of, 'How many times are we going to get hit in the gut,’ you know?”
Beating a Florida team that had won five out of its last seven and had the SEC’s best 2-point field goal percentage would have been a challenge. It was virtually impossible when Sharife Cooper turned his left ankle in practice Sunday and did not dress out Tuesday. (Pearl said Cooper will try to return from the injury before the end of the season, which will be either a week from Tuesday or next Saturday.)
Yes, Auburn struggled in a lot of its usual ways, especially in the first half, against Florida — a high turnover percentage, a lack of consistent inside scoring, ineffi…