Gators lose Will Yeguete in victory over Auburn
The good news for the Gators is that their 63-47 victory over Auburn keeps them solidly in second place behind Kentucky in the SEC race.
The bad news is they'll most likely have to finish the season without sophomore forward Will Yeguete.
Yeguete suffered a fracture in his left foot during the game Tuesday night, and is out indefinitely. Florida coach Billy Donovan said Yeguete may be out for the remainder of the season, but Yeguete said outside the O'Connell Center after the game that doctors have not told him whether the injury is season-ending.
A struggling Auburn team gave the No. 12 Gators all they could handle for about 26 minutes. The Gators (22-6, 10-3) overcame a sloppy, sluggish first half that included 12 turnovers to earn the victory. Trailing 37-36 with 13:59 remaining, Florida outscored Auburn 26-4 to take a commanding lead and help secure the win.
“The way we played in the second half was much, much better,’’ Donovan said. “We dug ourselves a whole and the we contributed to a lot of Auburn’s success in the first half with offensive rebounds and turnovers.''
The Gators’ second half performance was aided by a “heartfelt” halftime talk by Donovan that the players described as, well, rough.
“This might have been the worst one since I’ve been here,’’ said senior guard Erving Walker who with 13 points moved into a tie for fourth on UF’s all-time scoring list (1,678 with Stacey Poole).
Donovan said he spoke from his heart – challenging them to imagine what former players, family members and ticket buyers were thinking about the way they were playing.
“We’re all privileged in that locker room,’’ Donovan said. “I think sometimes what gets lost is they have to understand that it means
something when Florida is across the jersey to me. There’s a lot of energy that went into this (building the program). We may not always
play great, we may not always make every shot, we may not always play mistake-free, but we can play with a focus, passion and energy that I think the people that are here that are watching us deserve to see. . . And that was my thing. It’s unacceptable.’’
More from Donovan about the game here: