Gators Close Holiday Classic with Big Win

Senior Haley Lorenzen posted her second double-double in as many days and helped lead Florida to a 71-51 win against Saint Joseph’s on the second day of action at the Gator Holiday Classic played at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Thursday afternoon.

Lorenzen, who was named to the Gator Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team, finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds against the Hawks and inched closer to 1,000-point plateau as she enters the holiday break just seven points shy of the milestone.

Florida (7-5) returns to action on Wed., December 27, when the team plays host to Delaware State at 2 p.m. in its final non-conference game of the season.

All five starters recorded a double-figure scoring effort against Saint Joseph’s, with Paulina Hersler logging a game and career-high 19 points along with eight rebounds. She converted 7-of-10 overall from the floor, including a 3-of-5 effort from beyond the arc and sank both free throw attempts.

Delicia Washington added 14 points – with eight of those coming in the decisive fourth quarter – on 7-of-8 shooting with seven rebounds, while Dyandria Anderson added 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Funda Nakkasoglu chipped in 10 points and has reached double-digit scoring in nine of 11 games she has played this year.

Alyssa Monaghan led the Hawks (5-7) with 11 points and earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

How it Happened

It was a five-point game with just under eight minutes remaining in the third quarter before Florida staged a 15-4 run over a 4:47 span and the Gators jumped out to a 49-33 lead with 3:04 left in the third.

Washington sparked the run and Hersler followed with a three, as Anderson and Nakkasoglu both added treys of their own for a 14-point swell. After a bucket from the Hawks, Lorenzen converted back-to-back inside buckets with feeds from Elif Portakal and Nakkasoglu.

Florida maintained a double-figure lead for the remainder of the game, using a 18-4 march early in the fourth quarter to put the game away, as the Gator lead grew to as many as 24 points.

Numbers of Note

  • Florida dished 15 assists on 27 field goals.
  • The Gators outrebounded the Hawks, 45-33, with 14 offensive rebounds contributing toward 21 second-chance points.
  • Florida outscored SJU every quarter, with the largest margin an eight-point difference in the fourth when it hit 53.8 percent (7-13) from the floor and held SJU to a 25 percent (3-12) clip.

Individual Numbers of Note

  • Lorenzen’s double-double was her second in as many days, as well as her sixth this season and 10th of career
  • Washington extended her career-high double-figure scoring streak to eight games (was four consecutive games), as she notched her 10th of the season and 29th of her career
  • Portakal led or was tied for the team lead in assists for a second consecutive game; it is the first times in her career she has led the Gators in assists

Milestone Watch

  • Lorenzen finished the game with 993 points, just seven shy of becoming the 25th Gator to score 1,000 in a career. Ronni Williams was the last Gator to reach the milestone, doing so last season.
  • Anderson scored her 575th career point during the game
  • Lorenzen collected her 575th career rebound during the game

Gators vs. Hawks: The Series

  • Thursday’s game was the first meeting between the two programs

  Quotes from the Court – UF Coach Cameron Newbauer

General thoughts on the game:

“Any time your five starters can score in double-figures with 15 assists, it is a good thing for us. We will take more assists than turnovers.”

On post play:
“We stressed that today. Paulina (Hersler) was 5-of-7 in the first half – got some good touches. She and Haley (Lorenzen) combined for 31 points and 18 rebounds for us and any day we can get that from our four and five is great.”

On coming out strong at the half:
“We want pushed the ball a little bit; get out and run, stretching the floor. We haven’t done that as much as we would like to, but we did a better job of that in the second half.”

On starting five being in double-figures today:

“We took some good shots, Funda (Nakkasoglu) wasn’t as on as she normally is, but other people stepped up and did a good job of taking charge. Delicia (Washington) going 7-of-8 is a great day for her.”

What’s Next for the Gators

  • Following the Gator Holiday Classic, Florida will not compete again until Wed., Dec. 27, when the team plays host to Delaware State, with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m.

Gator Pronunciations for this Release:

  • DYANDRIA Anderson: dee-ANN-dree-uh
  • FUNDA NAKKASOGLU: FOON-da knock-a-SO-glue
  • DELICIA Washington: duh-LEE-shuh


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