After struggling offensively against Alabama on Wednesday, Auburn was hoping to reestablish its offensive groove against Florida. These hopes were dashed for the Tigers as they shot 25.5% from the field, their worst shooting game under Bruce Pearl since 2015-16 when they shot 23.7% against Tennessee.
On Saturday, No. 4 Auburn (15-2, 3-2 in SEC) fell to Florida (12-5, 4-1 in SEC) by a score of 69-47. The Tigers had one player in double-digits with Danjel Purifoy coming off the bench and piling in 10 points in 29 minutes of action.
Auburn struggled offensively throughout the game shooting 21% in the first half and 30.8% in the second half. The Tigers were not much better from 3 going 17% from beyond the arc in the contest. The lone bright spot offensively was free throws as Auburn finished the day shooting 71% from the line.
Auburn kept it close in the first half forcing 12 turnovers, a first-half SEC high this season for Auburn and heading into the locker room, the Tigers were down by only five. Not only did Auburn force turnovers in the first half, but Florida also struggled when they shot going 44% from the field and 33.3% from three.
It snowballed in the second half with Florida shooting 55.2% from the field and 62.5% from 3. While Florida shot well in the second half, Auburn had stretches where they could not score including an 8:40 dry spell to end the game.
"I'm disappointed with our play," Pearl said. "It's the time of the year when we should be trying to elevate our play, and we're not. Obviously, there's a pretty big price on our head being ranked fourth in the country. And so I think we have to respond to the step-up that we saw this week from both Alabama and Florida."
No. 4 Auburn returns home to Auburn Arena and will have a few days to prepare for Wednesday’s game against South Carolina (10-7, 2-2 in SEC). The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST and will be televised on ESPNU.
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