Short-Handed Gators Fall to Stetson

 

Tuesday’s hard-fought win against Richmond contributed in part to Wednesday’s 85-71 Gator loss to Stetson in the second game of the Savannah Invitational played at the Savannah Civic Center.

Florida’s leading scorer Funda Nakkasoglu, who had scored a season-high 25 points against the Spiders, left that game after an ankle sprain with 1:56 remaining and was unable to play versus the Hatters. With the Gator’s primary ball handler on the bench, the roster down to nine and the team playing its second game in as many days all proved too much to overcome.

Senior Dyandria Anderson did her best to compensate for Nakkasoglu’s absence by scoring a career-best 21 points and converting 5-of-11 from the three-point arc.

How it Happened

Stetson carried the momentum it established during the final two minutes of the first half into the second half by scoring the initial seven points that ignited a 16-5 run for a 60-41 lead and the Hatters never looked back.

Anderson tried to the keep the Gators close, as she scored the next five points of the game and Florida closed to within 14 points with 4:25 left in the quarter.

Stetson, however, kept firing and the nation’s third-most accurate team for shooting percentage – entering the tournament with a 56.1 percent mark – maintained its keen shot throughout to keep the Gators at bay.

Florida did manage a late 11-0 spurt that cut the deficit to eight points, 79-71, with 40 seconds left in the game, but it was too late to recover from the 23-point hole it dug with 9:36 remaining.

First Half in Review

There were four lead changes and three tied scores in a very tight first half, when Stetson hit 53.6 percent (15-28) of its shots, including a 7-of-13 effort from three.

The Gators missed their first five shots from the floor, as Stetson took a quick 5-0 lead and that was a sign of things to come.

Stetson built a five-point advantage with 4:56 remaining in the first half when Anderson hit back-to-back three-pointers and gave the Gators a 32-31 edge. Sydney Wagner came right back with her third three for the Hatters and tied the score before Tameria Johnson found Haley Lorenzen inside for the short bucket and the game was tied with two minutes remaining

The Hatters finished the half on a 10-2 run, capped by a bucket at the buzzer and took a 44-36 halftime lead.

Quotes from the Court – UF head coach Cameron Newbauer

His general assessment of the game:

“Stetson deserved to win the game. I told the team this was going to be a big deal for them being a couple hours down the street from us and it was something they didn’t quite understand. We gave up 28 points in the second quarter, 25 points in the third quarter. They shot 54 percent overall and 58 percent from three. We stressed offensive glass and we didn’t do that until the second half. I’m really disappointed in the effort right now but that’s kind of where we are so we just have to get better and keep working.”

On the defensive changes UF has to make after Stetson shoots 54 percent:

“We have to guard people. Just plain and simple, we have to guard people. We have a game plan and we don’t follow the game plan on how to guard people. That’s what happens when you give up layups and you give up wide open shots. We knew that (Sydney) Wagner was the best shooter on the floor. She was 8 of 10 and 4 of 4 (from the three-point arc) and we never got a hand up until after she was shooting and that’s not what we’re teaching. We have to be more solid with principles and what we’re doing.”

How the team responded playing without Funda Nakkasoglu tonight:

“We showed up. I wouldn’t say we had our best effort by any stretch of the imagination. We just have to get better. It doesn’t matter who’s not here, who’s playing or who’s not playing. We have got to show up and fight with what we have. I wouldn’t say we did that tonight, collectively, and that’s something we have to figure out and toughen up.”

Gator Watch

  • Dyandria Anderson hit a career-best five three-pointers and finished with a career-high 21 points. It was the 13th double-figure scoring game of her career, third this year.
  • Delicia Washington scored 14 points for her 22nd career double-figure scoring game
  • Haley Lorenzen scored 10 points for her 42nd career double-figure scoring game
  • Leading scorer Funda Nakkasoglu (17.0 ppg) did not dress for Wednesday’s game to rest a sprained ankle suffered with 1:57 remaining during Tuesday’s game against Richmond.
  • With Nakkasoglu out, sophomore Sydney Searcy received the first start of her career. Searcy made the most of the opportunity by tying her career-high of 11 points.

Numbers of Note

  • Florida had just eight turnovers to 14 assists
  • Stetson outscored Florida 28-19 in the second quarter and 25-12 in the third.
  • The Hatters, who entered the game with the nation’s third-highest field goal percentage at 56.1 percent, connected on 53.7 percent of their shots against the Gators.
  • Stetson went 11-of-19 from the three-point arc and 16-of-19 from the free throw line.
  • Florida shot 43.8 percent overall, 31 percent (9-29) from the arc and 54.5 percent (6-11) from the line

Top Hatters

  • Kennedi Colclough led all scorers with 22 points and 13 rebounds
  • Sydney Wagner came off the bench for 20 points, hitting all four three-point attempts
  • Brittney Chambers scored 17 points and McKenna Beach 13 points with seven assists

Updated Team Records and more:

  • Florida: 2-3
  • Stetson: 3-2
  • Florida vs. Stetson: 28-Game Series: UF leads 24-4 (UF Home: 15-1; Away: 8-2; Neutral: 1-1)
  • Prior to Wednesday’s game, the last meeting between the two teams was on Dec. 14, 2015, Gators won 59-54 in Gainesville.
  • Streak: Florida entered Wednesday’s game having won 14 straight vs. Stetson, with the last Hatters win a 75-67 decision on Nov. 28, 1988, in Deland.

What’s Next for the Gators

  • Florida plays its third game in as many days, next facing Savannah State (1-3) at 7 p.m. in the final game of the Savannah Invitational
  • Florida vs. Savannah State: 5-game Series: UF leads 3-2 (UF Home: 3-0; Away: 0-2; Neutral: 0-0)
  • Last Meeting: Nov. 24, 2015: Gators own 99-34 in Gainesville
  • Savannah State’s last win in the series: 68-58 on Dec. 4, 2014 in Savannah

How to Follow the Action at the Savannah Invitational

  • Kyle Crooks and Brittany Davis handle the radio duties with the live broadcast on ESPN Gainesville 98.1FM & 850AM WRUF that can be heard online free of charge (link available at FloridaGators.com).
  • There will NOT be streamed live online coverage for any of the games at the Savannah Invitational.

Game Day at a Glance vs. Savannah State

What: Savannah Invitational

Who: Florida (2-3) at the Savannah Invitational vs.

  • Savannah St. (1-3) – Nov. 23, 7 pm

Where: Savannah Civic Center (8,500) * Savannah, Ga.

Game Coverage & More!

  • Radio: ESPN Gainesville 98.1FM & 850AM WRUF with Kyle Crooks & Brittany Davis
  • Internet Audio: link thru FloridaGators.com

o   vsSavannah State –  http://bit.ly/2iARmZ8

  • Television: none
  • Streaming Video: none
  • Internet Scoring: all links on FloridaGators.com

o   vsSavannah State – http://statb.us/b/199086

Gator Pronunciations for this Release:

  • DYANDRIA Anderson: dee-ANN-dree-uh
  • TAMERIA Johnson: tah-MEIR-ee-uh
  • FUNDA NAKKASOGLU: FOON-da knock-ah-SO-glue
  • Sydney SEARCY: SIR-see
  • DELICIA Washington: duh-LEE-shuh

 

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