The tone in Amanda Butler’s voice conveyed palpable disappointment.
"Auburn just outplayed us," she said following her team’s season-worst 22-point loss to the Tigers on Sunday. "They were tougher than us."
She echoed that sentiment on Monday, less than 24 hours removed from the letdown loss.
"Florida was just very short of being what Florida basketball is in a lot of areas," Butler said.
And when it was suggested that the loss was one of Florida’s worst of the season, Butler was quick to interject.
"I think it was the worst. You can say that, it’s alright," she said.
The loss came following another disappointing performance last Thursday at No. 2 South Carolina. However, Butler insisted that the loss to the Gamecocks didn’t have any demoralizing effects going into the game against Auburn.
"Each one of those games is an individual battle in and of itself that requires your best," she said. "If we had done something amazing and played great and beaten South Carolina, we still could’ve had the same result (against Auburn)."
With No. 22 Florida (19-6, 7-5 Southeastern Conference) riding its first losing streak of the season, Vanderbilt (15-10, 4-8 SEC) comes to the O’Connell Center tonight at 7. But as Butler implied, her team is still trying to take it one game at a time — losing streak or not.
"We always try to focus on what’s coming next," forward Haley Lorenzen said. "We don’t try to dwell on what’s happened in the past."
Even if they’re not dwelling on it, it’s no secret that the Gators will need to improve against the Commodores.
Several of UF’s usual playmakers — namely Eleanna Christinaki and Simone Westbrook — have been shut down in its last two games. The duo has a combined for a total of 19 points over the two-game skid.
With those offensive struggles in mind, Butler and her staff tried to rectify the issues by making offensive execution the focus of Tuesday’s practice.
"We just addressed some of the issues that we had on the court, and it’s just been really good ever since," Lorenzen said.
While offense is what UF has struggled with in its last two games, it’s defense that could make the difference against Vanderbilt.
The Commodores’ greatest strength is their perimeter game, as their 36.1 three-point shooting percentage is the fourth-best in the league. However, Vandy is ranked last or second to last in the three main defensive categories: rebounds, blocks and steals. That makes tonight’s game ideal for Florida to return form on offense.
But following the two losses, Butler isn’t taking anything for granted.
"Vanderbilt is another team that’s gonna put you on your back if you don’t play well," she said.