Turnovers Doom Gators in Home Loss

Florida shot 51 percent from the floor but committed 23 turnovers in a 70-69 loss to Arkansas State at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Tuesday evening.

The loss snapped the Gator’s 10-game home, non-conference win streak and was the first setback of the young season for first-year head coach Cameron Newbauer.

Newbauer has been adamant that his inaugural Gator squad would build a culture and he stood by that Tuesday, as all 11 players saw action by the midpoint of the second quarter. At time, it resembled an ice hockey game from the waves of substitutes the Gators ushered on and off the court.

“We don’t play hard, we start slow out of the gate. We told our team we don’t care about winning and losing, we care about the culture and learning how to play,” Newbauer said. “We are going to win and lose the right way. Our players did not play hard, so if you do not play hard, you will not play. We subbed left and right to try and find the people that were going to play hard and get their hands up on defense, sprint back on defense and rebound.”

That said, the Gators held a one-point halftime lead despite leading for just over three minutes in the and even had the final possession with 5.6 seconds remaining in the game.

Florida took a quick three-point attempt that didn’t fall and the Red Wolves collected the miss and the win.

The loss overshadowed a number of individual performances, as graduate transfer Paulina Hersler posted the first double-double of her career with 12 points and a career-best 11 rebounds.

Junior transfer Funda Nakkasoglu led the Gators with 16 points in her first double-figure scoring game wearing the orange and blue.

Sophomore Delicia Washington added 11 points and eight rebounds, but was tagged for nine miscues.

Down the Stretch

  • There were four lead changes and three tied scores in the fourth quarter, with Florida’s final advantage coming after Haley Lorenzen’s jumper gave the Gators a 63-61 spot with 5:30 remaining.
  • A-State answered with a 7-0 run thanks to five points from Jada Ford, who finished with a game-high 17 points, and the visitors led 68-63 with 3:08 on the clock.
  • Washington dropped in a layup and Lorenzen added one free throw with 47 seconds left that had the Gators within two, 68-66. Ford, however, followed with a jumper and 25 ticks remaining for a four-point Red Wolves advantage.
  • Five seconds later, Nakkasoglu drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key and the Gators were within one.
  • Florida’s defense forced a five-second, inbound violation and got the ball back with 5.6 seconds and a chance to win the game.
  • A-State scored seven points off of six Gator turnovers in the final 10 minutes.

Numbers of Note

  • There were 10 lead changes and 11 tied scores during the game.
  • Florida shot 51 percent (26-51) overall, including an 8-20 effort (40 percent) from beyond the arc.
  • Five different Gators converted at least one trey, with Nakkasoglu going 4-for-5.
  • A-State hit 38.4 percent (28-73) from the floor, including an 8-19 mark from the 3-point arc.
  • A-State’s largest lead was six points in the first quarter; Florida’s four in the third quarter
  • UF won the rebounding battle, 41-33, but A-State corralled 20 offensive boards
  • UF shot 63.3 percent in the third quarter, but was still outscored, 22-20, as A-State took a 53-52 lead into the final period, as six turnovers led the six Red Wolves points.
  • Despite holding the lead for just 3:31 of the first half, the Gators took the 32-31 lead into the halftime lockeroom.
  • In the first quarter, A-State scored eight points off eight Gator turnovers
  • Nine different Gators scored in the first half.

UF Head Coach Cameron Newbauer:

Opening Statement:

“Hats off to Arkansas State. They lost the other day to Indiana by 40, so we were concerned as a staff that if the players saw the score on the tape. Our team was not prepared for the fight and the intensity that Arkansas State played with, so hats off to them. We could not find their shooters, which we also had trouble with on Saturday; offensive rebounding was also a problem in the first game and today we gave up 20. They outfought us, they out worked us and they deserve the game in every aspect. Even if we did make a shot at the end of the game we did not deserve to win this game. Bright side for us, 50% from the floor and 40% from 3. That’s what we talked about at halftime; if we don’t turn it over we are going to score. If you try to be too fancy or get too cute with passes, that is what happens. When you get away from the blueprint that we are trying to do, this is what happens. We have to learn and grow and get better from this and if we don’t, shame on us. We have Florida State coming here on Friday, so I am looking forward to being a part of that first Florida-Florida State game.”

On process at the end:

“We wanted to get rebounds first and foremost. We were trying to get them to foul, but they couldn’t hear me, I probably should have called a timeout, so that’s on me. When we scored and cut it to one, I tried to call a timeout, but the ball was already in bounds. We tried subbing in and it worked, we had a shot at the end, but it didn’t work out the way we wanted to.”

On the slow start:

“We talked about creating our own energy today. We have been trying to change a lot of things up, including our starting lineup. We talked about talk, defend and rebound and we didn’t do those things. There are so many things we need to get better on right now. I don’t know why we aren’t more enthused and excited to come out at the start, but I can tell you one thing, no one cares about us. Florida State does not care about us, so the longer it takes us to get going, the further the hole we are going to have to dig ourselves out of. I’ve got to figure out how to motivate our players.”

On the nine turnovers by Delicia Washington:

“Turnovers are a team concept. She had a few plays where her teammates didn’t put their hands up or say anything. We say all the time that we need to help our teammates out. She did have nine turnovers but I would not pin those all to her. We will take aggressive mistakes over others, we can live with those. We have to be a lot more aggressive, we were a bit on our toes.”

On playing so many players at the start:

“We don’t play hard, we start slow out of the gate. We told our team we don’t care about winning and losing, we care about the culture and learning how to play. We are going to win and lose the right way. Our players did not play hard, so if you do not play hard, you will not play. We subbed left and right to try and find the people that were going to play hard and get their hands up on defense, sprint back on defense and rebound. We had a lot of people not doing that. If you don’t do your job, you should not play, no matter who you are. I don’t care how many points you have, if you don’t play the right way, you won’t play. If we lose we lose, but we want to lose the right way. We have to learn from this. If we had won this game, it would have patched everything that went wrong and our team would have thought everything was okay. We need to understand that we learn a lot when you lose. We have to jump right back up because there is no rest.”

Did you lose in the right way today:

No, hats off to them, they did what they had to do to win. We just weren’t aggressive, we lost the way that we prepared the last two days. We didn’t take aggressive shots. We are not good enough. We have no margin of error that allows us to fool around with people. We cannot give cushions, everyone is going to come in and compete like it is a huge game.

UF junior Funda Nakkasoglu:

On the last play of the game:

There was a bit of confusion there at the end, looking to the bench to see if we should foul, but I think it was just a bit of a communication barrier there. We talk about as a team that we need to communicate better on the court because we cannot always look to the bench or to coach.

On mistakes:

“We were just nonchalant with our passes. We seemed a bit afraid as well. Personally, I should have been more aggressive with my passes. We came in with a mindset for dilly-dally passes, but they are an aggressive team on defense.”

Did you overlook them:

“We didn’t overlook them, I think we just should have focused harder before the game.”

On playing better in second game than the opener:

“I don’t think about my own personal play, I am just thinking about what I do best to help my team succeed. I knew I had to be more aggressive and it might be just being used to being on the court again. I need to bring more to the team, I am not bringing enough right now.”

UF senior Paulina Hersler:

On issues rebounding:

“Rebounding was definitely one of the issues we had tonight, we did not box out well or crash the boards hard. We have been struggling with it in practice, but we have to get better at it. Credit to them for crashing the boards so hard.”

On being considered a guard:

“I don’t consider myself a guard, I do like being on the outside, so I definitely have some guard skills but I consider myself a forward.”

Arkansas State Head Coach Brian Boyer

Opening statement:
“Well just obviously I’m proud of this win. The way our players … One of the things we felt we had to do which is well we can’t match up size with them so we tried to use our athleticism and quickness defensively and we did a good job in the first quarter of really being a post-player, trying to pressure them and keeping them from toeing the three point line. You know, we’re high-low, we’re passing trying to get them away and they did a good job of that. They adjusted and they started doing a lot of clear-out against that.

“Eleven turnovers, which for us is really good. We were able to keep our turnover numbers down. The other big concern I had coming into this game was rebounding, and I’m really proud to be able to get from the offense even though already got us a total of 20 offensive rebounds with 13 defensive rebounds. We thought our players really battled, even a lot of offensive rebounds we were in the right spots it was just too big, so I was really proud of our team and how we handled that.”

On how his team bounced back after the loss at Indiana:
It feels good, ya know again I think if you go back and you look at our program we’ve been very competitive. We came in here two years ago with a three-point loss, and that was one of my better teams. Last year we dropped off because we were young and had injuries, we only won seven games, but we do have some returners that have been a part of the success and they know how to compete.

Indiana is really good and I think more than anything it was just good to get that one out of the way. So it felt good today even when they would make some pushes and take the leads and I never saw our players get discouraged. They continued to compete today.”

On capitalizing on Florida’s mistakes:
“Well it has to be, because again this was going to be a game of size versus quickness. If we allowed their size to take over they wouldn’t of been able to win this game. We did a good job of- a lot of those turnovers that we created are home side.”

What’s Next for the Gators:

  • Who: No. 17/14 Florida State (2-0)
  • WhenFriday, November 17 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Exactech Arena – Gainesville, FL

Gator Pronunciations for this Release:

  • FUNDA NAKKASOGLU: FOON-da knock-a-SO-glue
  • DELICIA Washington: duh-LEE-shuh

Links of Note:


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