SUNRISE — Even with his Gators up eight at halftime, coach Billy Donovan sensed trouble. He was right.
No. 13 Florida stumbled through the second half and lost 56-53 to Richmond on Saturday.
Down 32-19 late in the first half, the Spiders (8-3) scored five quick points.
"You see the energy, the passion, the enthusiasm kind of coming out of them," said Donovan, whose team has lost two straight since starting 8-0. "I can get them physically ready to play, but they've got to understand every game is 40 minutes. I take responsibility. … Obviously, what I'm saying to them is not getting through."
The Gators then were outscored 20-5 to start the second half. As their lead vanished, Donovan didn't call a timeout.
"I wasn't going to bail them out," he said.
Florida made 7 for 27 shots in the half, including 1 of 9 3-pointers. Still, it nearly pulled it out. Down 52-50 with 15 seconds left, Erving Walker missed a 3-pointer. Vernon Macklin missed the putback, and Dan Werner was stripped by Kevin Anderson, whose four free throws sealed it.
"We came out flat in the second half," forward Chandler Parsons said. "When teams make runs, we have to keep battling."
Richmond beat a ranked team for the third consecutive season. But coach Chris Mooney said Saturday's was special.
"Florida is going to end up being a top-10 or top-15 team," he said. "And when you beat them, that just says how good you are."