Gators Fall to Missouri’s Outside Shooting

Missouri knocked down 13 three-pointers and converted 19-of-20 free throws to earn a 74-67 decision against Florida at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Thursday evening.

The second and fourth quarters belonged to the Tigers, who outscored the Gators during those two periods by 22 points thanks to a combined 9-of-15 effort from beyond the arc and a 10-of-11 performance at the free throw line.

Florida did hit 28 field goals to Missouri’s 21 during the game, but it was the Tiger’s shooting prowess that ultimately was the difference.

Ronni Williams’ 17 points led four Gators in double-figure scoring, with Haley Lorenzen and Delicia Washington both netting 16 and Brooke Copeland adding 10 points off the bench.

Dyandria Anderson recorded her first double-double of the season and second of her career with 11 rebounds and 11 assists, both career-bests.

Florida led for the first 14:52 of the game until MU began warming up from beyond the arc.

Five of MU’s six field goals to end the first half were three-pointers, as Mizzou flipped a 19-14 Gator lead with 7:15 remaining, into a 35-26 Tiger halftime advantage, as the visitors scored 13 straight points to end the period.

The teams traded buckets to open the second have and with Mizzou taking a 40-30 lead with 8:35 on the clock, Florida ripped off a 15-0 run and held a 45-40 lead with 5:09 remaining in the third.

The Tigers halted the run with a three and tacked on two more treys, however, Florida managed to hold a 55-53 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Mizzou ripped off an 11-1 run to start the final frame before Copeland drilled one of her three treys in the game with 4:54 remaining and the Gators were down just three, 62-59.

Florida had a chance to get even closer, but couldn’t convert a layup off an in-bound play and MU drove right down and hit a three. Copeland matched it for the Gators, who were back within three points, 65-62, with 3:23 remaining.

Amber Smith hit what may have been the dagger, as she came right back with her only points of the night – a three-pointer – and Florida wouldn’t match that shot. The Gators missed another layup off an in-bound play under the basket and would eventually foul and send the Tigers to the free throw line, where they finished the game hitting 6-of-6 in the final 26 seconds to seal the win.

Updated Records

  • Florida: 13-13, 4-9 SEC
  • Missouri: 18-9, 8-5 SEC

 Double-Digit Gators

  • Ronni Williams: 17 points (6-12 FG, 5-9 FT), 7 rebounds – 22nd double-figure scoring game this year, 72nd in career
  • Haley Lorenzen: 16 points (8-13 FG) – fifth consecutive double-figure scoring game, 20th of season, 38th of career
  • Delicia Washington: 16 points (7-19 FG, 2-3 threes) – 15th double-figure scoring game
  • Brooke Copeland: 10 points (3-6 FG, 3-5 threes) – second double-figure scoring game this year, sixth of career
  • Dyandria Anderson: career-high 11 rebounds, career-high 11 assists for first double-double of season and second of career

Leading the Tigers

  • Sophie Cunningham led four in double-figures: 28 points (8-18 FG, 4-7 threes, 8-9 FT)

Numbers of Note

  • Eight of UF’s last nine games have been decided by 10 points or less.
  • Florida is 4-8 in games decided by 10 points or less this season, including 3-6 in SEC games.
  • Mizzou’s 13 three-pointers are the most by a UF opponent this season; the 13 treys are tied for the second-most allowed in program history, with three other schools converting 14
  • This was the sixth time this year the Gators have allowed double-digit three-pointers
  • Florida held a 37-29 rebounding advantage
  • The Gators outscored Mizzou, 34-14, in the paint
  • Florida was 5-14 from three and just 6-11 from the line

Florida vs. Missouri: The Updated Series

  • 6-Game Series: UF trails 0-6 (UF Home: 0-3; Away: 0-4; Neutral: 0-0)
  • Of Note: The Tigers are the only SEC team Florida has not yet defeated.

Three and Counting

  • Florida has just three regular-season games remaining before the SEC Tournament.
  • Florida’s remaining schedule includes one home game (Georgia on Feb. 28) and two on the road (Kentucky and Tennessee).
  • The Gators are 2-3 in the second half of the league schedule
  • Florida wrapped up the first half of its 16-game SEC slate with a road win at Vanderbilt (Jan. 29) and a 2-6 record.

 Gripping Gators

  • Over the previous three-plus seasons, the team has played a combined 57 games decided by 10 points or less, with a 30-27 record)

Quoting Florida Head Coach Amanda Butler

“It was a great game, a great SEC ballgame. You have to give Missouri an awful lot of credit for taking advantage when we had defensive breakdowns, for answering our runs. It seemed to be a game of alternating quarters – we would take one, they would take one. You just can’t exchange baskets with a team that shoots that well from the three when that’s not our forte as much, even though we shot the ball well. Haley (Lorenzen) had a great night and was incredibly efficient. Her teammates did a great job of getting her the ball. We rebounded the way we wanted to, but ultimately we had two critical breakdowns and that was defending the three=point line after dribble-penetration and we allowed them to attack baseline a lot more than we had planned to. You have to give them credit – they made plays.”

“Well they hit shots, and we knew they could do that. We had a saying going into this game that we didn’t want to be suckers. You know when they dribble penetrate it’s to set up a three and we didn’t really do a good job of holding to that. Obviously, Haley going down and getting hurt when she did took a little momentum away, as well. She was having such a consistent game down on the low block for us. But you know they are a good team and you can’t leave a good team, that has great shooters where they want the ball. And tonight we let them have 13 of them.”

On second chance points and the difference in the game:

“Well if you look at the field goals, we had more field goals than they did but the threes make up the difference. You know you can’t give up that many threes. We did everything we wanted to do for the most part offensively, we rebounded well, we picked our spots to attack, we picked our three spots well, but we just didn’t defend the three-point line tonight.”

What’s Next for the Gators

  • Who: Florida at Kentucky (18-8, 9-4 SEC)
  • When: Sun., February 19 * 1 p.m. ET
  • Where: Memorial Coliseum * Lexington, Ky.
  • TV: SEC Network with Courtney Lyle and Tamika Catchings

Postgame Links:

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