Gators Drop Another Close One




Five of Florida’s last six games have been decided by single digits including Monday evening’s game against Ole Miss played at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, where the Gators found themselves on the short end of a 84-75 decision.

Ronni Williams continued her sensational senior season, leading Florida with 21 points – her 11th game this year with 20 or more points in a game, but it wasn’t enough for the Gators, who have dropped four of their five Southeastern Conference home games by nine points or less.

Ole Miss used a 12-0 run early in the second quarter to flip a 22-19 Gator lead into 31-22 Rebel advantage. UM sank three triples during the spree, while Florida turned the ball over twice. Haley Lorenzen dished a great ball to Tyshara Fleming under the basket and she finished to halt UF’s scoring drought.

With UM holding a 36-26 lead, Florida countered with a 6-0 spurt over a 62-second span behind a pair of free throws from Dyandria Anderson and baskets from Delicia Washington and Ronni Williams, as Florida closed the gap.

The Rebels continued to match every Gator score until freshman Sydney Morang knocked down a three and Haley Lorenzen followed with a jumper with 16 seconds left in the second quarter and Florida headed into the locker room down three, 42-39.

The teams continued to trade buckets for the majority of the third quarter and the Gators even tied the game twice and took a 58-57 lead with 48 seconds remaining on a pair of Lorenzen free throws. Just 16 seconds later, Erika Sisk drilled one of Ole Miss’ 10 three-pointers during the game and the Rebels jumped back into the lead, holding a 60-58 edge entering the final quarter.

Washington scored first to begin the fourth quarter and tied the game.

Ole Miss, however, used a 13-4 run over the next 4:55 and held a 73-64 advantage with 3:52 remaining.

Florida still battled and after consecutive buckets from Williams was within five points, 75-70, with 2:06 on the clock.

The Gator had struggled defensively all evening but needed to come up big on the ensuing Ole Miss possession and initially it appeared as though it had. Florida forced Madinah Muhammad into a tough attempt as the shot clock was at the end and the game clock at 70 seconds. The ball bounced out and Muhammad collected her own miss and put it back up for a layin that gave the Rebels a 77-70 lead.

Florida cut its deficit to six a few times in the final minute, but Ole Miss came right back and answered every Gator score with one of its own to close out the game.

Updated Records

  • Florida: 11-12, 2-8 SEC
  • Ole Miss: 15-8, 4-6 SEC

Double-Digit Gators

  • Ronni Williams: 21 points (8-16 FG; 5-6 FT) – 11th game this year with 20+ points; 69th career double-figure scoring game
  • Haley Lorenzen: 14 points (6-10 FG, 2-3 FT) – 17th double-figure scoring game this year, 35th in career
  • Delicia Washington: 14 points (4-16 FG, 6-6FT) – 13th double-figure scoring game; six rebounds
  • Dyandria Anderson: 13 points (4-10 FG, 5-6 FT) – tied career-high scoring effort; four assists

Double-Digit Rebels

  • Madinah Muhammad led all scorers and four Rebels in double-digits with 21 points (7-16 FG, 4-7 3FG, 4-5 FT)

Individual Numbers of Note

  • Williams collected her 750th career rebound
  • Washington scored her 250th career point

News and Numbers of Note

  • Ole Miss connected on 10-20 three-pointers; fifth time this year UF has allowed double-digit threes
  • Monday was the first and only regular-season game scheduled between Florida and Ole Miss.
  • Both of the Gator’s SEC wins this year have come on the road.
  • Five of Florida’s last six games have been decided by single digits.
  • Florida is 2-7 in games decided by 10 points or less this season, including 1-5 in SEC games.

Florida vs. Ole Miss: The UPDATED Series

  • 36-Game Series: UF leads 20-16 (UF Home: 8-10; Away: 12-5; Neutral: 0-1)
  • Trend: The home court has not been friendly to the hosts recently, as the Gators have now lost four of the last five at home to Ole Miss, but have won the last six games played in Oxford.
  • Florida’s last home win against the Rebels was on Feb. 5, 2012.

Postgame with UF Head Coach Amanda Butler

Quick thoughts on the game:

“Very poor defense on our end tonight, which is very disappointing. We did not defend dribble penetration again. They did a great job of finding the open player; and we overreacted to that – didn’t play with a great deal of discipline. We put ourselves in a foul bind once again, and overall just a really disappointing way to lose a ball game. “

On difficulty defending Ole Miss shooters:

“They shot the ball exceptionally well, but we did a poor job of defending dribble penetration which left someone open, whether it was inside or out. We overreacted to dribble penetration. We did a lot of things poorly, and that’s on me. We just must not have prepared very well. I felt that we did, but clearly the result does not demonstrate that.”

On the short turnaround before the next game and areas of focus in preparation:

“Defending dribble penetration will be a big emphasis.”

What’s Next for the Gators

  • UF remains at Exactech Arena for its next game, as the Gators play host to Arkansas (13-10, 2-8 SEC) on Thur., February 9 at 7 p.m.
  • The game will not be televised, but the action can be seen online through SEC Network +.

 Gator Pronunciations for this release:

  • DYANDRIA Anderson: dee-ANN-dree-uh
  • TYSHARA Fleming: tie-SHEER-uh
  • Sydney MORANG: mur-RANG (like meringue pie)
  • DELICIA Washington: duh-LEE-shuh


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