Instant Analysis: Championship run comes up short

No. 12 Auburn 86 - Florida 67

by Ben McLeish
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Please Read: Welcome to the new-look Inside the Gators

The Florida Gators came up short of their first SEC Tournament Championship since 2014, losing to No. 12 Auburn 86-67. The Gators, playing their fourth game in four days, had their worst game of the tournament, shooting just 36% from the field and only making one 3-pointer. Starting center Micah Handlogten fractured his ankle just three minutes in the game, adding insult to injury.

Inside the Gators’ Instant Analysis takes a quick look at how the game unfolded.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Tre Donaldson hit his second 3-pointer in a 90-second span, giving Auburn an 11-point lead with 13 minutes remaining. This capped off a 10-0 Auburn run before which the Gators were down by just one point. The Gators could not get the game within eight points for the remainder of the game.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW: Johni Broome was everything the Tigers hoped for in the SEC Tournament Final. Broome scored 19 points, shooting 7-10 from the field, while securing 11 rebounds.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE: 0-of-7 from three and 9-of-32 from the field. That’s what Florida shot in the first half. Despite their struggles from the field, they went 12-of-13 from the charity stripe to keep the game within eight points at halftime.

THIS MATCHUP PROVIDED KEY: Johni Broome against Tyrese Samuel. The Gators knew the All-SEC first team forward would be a big part of the Tiger’s offense, but they had no answer for him in the paint.

WHAT A PLAY: The Gators struggled heavily from the field in the first half. But after a missed shot on the transition layup attempt by Alex Condon, Thomas Haugh scored on a powerful one-handed slam to put the Gators within five points.

UP NEXT: The Florida Gators (24-11, 11-1) lost the SEC Tournament Championship, but their season is far from over. They await the March Madness bracket reveal to see who they will play in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Coming into the game, the Gators were a projected five seed by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.

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