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Gators manhandle Southern, but mono fells starter Brewer

Every Gator except Corey Brewer scored in another victory against a weaker opponent Tuesday night.

That's because Brewer didn't play in Florida's 83-27 victory over Southern (0-6). Coach Billy Donovan learned Tuesday morning that Brewer had mononucleosis and will be out at least two weeks.

The combination of sickness and a rough trip to Las Vegas is weighing heavily on the No. 4 Gators (7-1), Donovan said.

"Our team right now is emotionally, physically, mentally wiped out," he said. "The trip out west wiped us out, and I knew that our team was going to have a tough time" Tuesday night.

Donovan and forward Joakim Noah are also feeling sick and will have bloodwork today, but neither has a fever, but Brewer did.

"I know how I feel, and I can't imagine how those guys feel," Donovan said.

Guard Walter Hodge replaced Brewer in the lineup, but he's not locked in as a starter while Brewer is out. Donovan is considering a few options, including a big lineup with Noah at small forward. Hodge had nine points, six assists and five steals.

The loss of Brewer, who averages 11.7 points and a team-best 3.6 assists, overshadowed another domination of an out-of-conference team.

The 27 points were the fewest the Gators (7-1) have allowed since the shot-clock era began in 1986.

"I was so proud of these guys," Donovan said. "We didn't have it emotionally. Our team is a very passionate, emotional team with the way they compete, and they wear their emotions on their sleeves. I thought we were just completely dead."

Brewer played through two games in Las Vegas with mono, but he wasn't himself and felt as if he were going to throw up before Friday night's game against Western Kentucky, Donovan said.

Florida was playing its first game since an 82-80 overtime loss Saturday to Kansas, snapping the Gators' 17-game winning streak and knocking them out of No. 1 in the polls.

Doctors have told Donovan that Brewer doesn't need to be quarantined from teammates, but Donovan still expressed concern over the virus spreading, especially since Brewer lives with starters Noah, Taurean Green and Al Horford. UF uses individual water bottles at practice, so that shouldn't be an issue.

"I hope not to kiss him or drink out of his cup or anything like that," Horford joked.

Horford had 12 points for the Gators, and freshman Brandon Powell added 10. Marreese Speights, another freshman, scored 12.

Without Brewer, the Gators' depth will become even more important.

"We definitely need some more young guys to step up," Horford said.

"We told them that you never know what can happen; they have to be ready to go."

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