Florida coach Billy Donovan is still hoping to see his team realize its full potential. A return home might help Donovan's squad get a little closer to that goal.
After dropping another road game, the 10th-ranked Gators will try to bounce back with a 13th consecutive win at the O'Connell Center on Saturday against Yale.
Florida (10-3) has suffered all three of its losses on the road, but the first two were to No. 2 Ohio State and top-ranked Syracuse. The Gators' latest defeat away from home, 85-83 in double overtime to Rutgers on Thursday, was easily its most heartbreaking.
Florida couldn't hold on to a seven-point lead in the final 2:04 of regulation or a three-point advantage with 19 seconds remaining in the first overtime. Leading scorer Kenny Boynton tried to help his team with a season high-tying 26 points.
"Our team needs to go through this to reach our full potential, as difficult as that may be," Donovan said. "It's bigger for me than just this game. It's about us getting better."
The Gators have been better at home this season, where they've averaged 89.9 points in those seven contests - 14.9 more than in their three road games. They've also allowed 62.1 points per game, 17.2 fewer than away from home.
However, most of those efforts have also come against lesser competition with the exception of Arizona and Florida State. Florida's next opponent, Yale, hasn't received the acclaim of fellow Ivy League member Harvard, but does carry a respectable 8-3 record into Gainesville.
The Bulldogs were also riding a six-game win streak, their longest in 10 seasons, before a 72-71 defeat at Wake Forest on Thursday. They trailed by 19 points with 11:34 remaining in that game.
Greg Mangano recorded his 174th career block in the loss to break former NBA veteran Chris Dudley's school record. The 6-foot-10 senior, who played for Team USA at the World University Games this past summer, leads Yale with 17.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, and he's averaging 20.1 points over his last seven contests.
The Bulldogs are also getting help from junior guard Austin Morgan, who is shooting 46.4 percent from 3-point range and averaging 14.6 points. Yale is the Ivy League's top scoring team with 73.8 points per game.
The Bulldogs have never faced the Gators and are the first Ivy League team to visit Gainesville since Harvard lost 95-75 there on Dec. 23, 1969.
Boynton will become the third Florida player to make a 3-pointer in 30 or more consecutive games if he makes one from beyond the arc.
- Sports & Recreation
- Sports & Recreation/Basketball