Haley Lorenzen and Delicia Washington both recorded double-doubles and Florida was involved in its fourth consecutive game decided by single digits, however, the Gators were unable to overcome a rough third quarter in a 66-59 loss to LSU at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. Oâ€™Connell Center Sunday afternoon.
Lorenzen tied her career-high of 20 points and added 10 rebounds â€“ seven offensive â€“ for her ninth double-double this season and 13th of her career. Washington scored 11 points with 13 boards for her third double-double this year and fourth of career.
Florida outscored LSU in three of the four quarters. It was that third quarter that became the Gatorâ€™s undoing, as the Tigers (11-5, 3-2 SEC) posted a 21-9 scoring advantage that proved to be the difference in the game.
Florida overcame an early 10-4 deficit and closed with the first quarter with a 12-9 edge to hold a 19-16 lead after the first 10 minutes. Unselfish team play produced a layup by Jalaysha Thomas, who collected an offensive rebound on the next series that resulted in a three-pointer from Nakkasoglu, who followed with a layup on the next series. Lorenzen capped the 9-0 run and flipped a six-point deficit into a three-point lead.
The teams traded treys to end the first.
The second quarter was a tighter offensive display, with Florida managing one more point that LSU to take a 33-29 halftime lead.
Lorenzen compiled 12 of her team-high 20 during the first half, when the Gators hit 48.1 percent (13-27) of their shots from the floor, dished six assists on their 13 buckets and held a 19-15 rebounding advantage.
In the decisive third quarter, LSU ripped out of the locker room and scored the first seven points for a one-point lead.
Washington finally got the Gators on the board, but LSU followed with a 16-4 march en route to taking the lead and a 50-42 advantage at the end of the third after outscoring Florida, 21-9.
During that third quarter, LSU outrebounded Florida 15-6, grabbing four on the offensive end. The Gators committed four turnovers that resulted in seven Tiger points, as the Gators hit just 23.1 percent (3-13) from floor, including a 1-7 effort from the three-point arc, while LSU shot 50 percent overall and 3-6 from deep.
LSU continued its scoring advantage early in the fourth quarter with the first seven points for a 57-42 lead with 7:58 remaining.
Florida refused to fold and staged a 10-0 run and was within five, 57-52, with 2:44 remaining in the game.
Chloe Jackson, who scored a game-high 23 points, stopped the Gator run with a jumper at the 1:38 mark. The Tigers closed out the game at the free throw line by converting 7-of-8 in the final 51 seconds, with Jackson responsible for 5-of-6 during that span.
During that final minute, Florida answered the LSU free throws with buckets and great defensive plays from Tameria Johnson, but wasnâ€™t able to climb all the way back despite the 17-16 scoring edge in the fourth quarter.
Numbers of Note
- Each of Floridaâ€™s last four games has been decided by single digits and in each of them, the Gators have held the lead.
- Overall this season, the Gators have played nine games decided by 10 points or less (3-6 record overall, 0-4 SEC)
- Florida drops to 6-4 in games when leading at the half. The Gators held a 33-29 halftime lead against LSU.
- UFâ€™s nine points were its fewest in the third quarter this season.
Quotes from the Court:
Florida Coach Cameron Newbauer
â€œYou have to make plays to win games and we didnâ€™t make enough plays to win the game. We were up 12 in the first half. We have open looks and we donâ€™t take them and they become turnovers. So in a game where you have 17 offensive rebounds and you donâ€™t shoot open shots, you take away the opportunity to score and you take away the opportunity to get an offensive rebound and score and it becomes a turnover. I think thatâ€™s when it all began in the first-half and we became hesitant to shoot and then we stopped sharing the ball. We had a couple lapses where we had a one-pass shot, one-pass shot, no-pass turnover really hurt us. But at the end of the day, we have to make plays. We are making the wrong plays. Back to the drawing board, back to fighting, back to crawling. We need more fight if we are going to get anything done.â€
Coach Cam on the teamâ€™s fight in the fourth quarter:
â€œI mean we have it, I just donâ€™t know why it only comes out when we make shots. We make shots we fight, we donâ€™t make shots we just stand around and watch and wait for somebody else to do something. Itâ€™s our M.O. Itâ€™s nothing new. Thatâ€™s the frustration, just wanting someone to just take it and be courageous with it and say whatever happens tonight letâ€™s go and letâ€™s fight for 40 minutes. In anything in life, you have to fight. When times get hard, you fight. But for some reason when times get hard in games we buckle, and buckle and then fight. I donâ€™t know how to get us to fight sooner.â€
UF Senior Post Haley Lorenzen
On trying to get the ball in the paint:
â€œI think we were just trying to be aggressive early on and I think we tried to remain aggressive throughout the game and we just got caught up in some of our mistakes early in that second half. In the first half it was just about us being aggressive and taking it to themâ€
Lorenzen on ending quarters slow:
â€œWe stopped running our offense and we let out mistakes dictate what we were trying to do, versus us taking control and taking a deep breath and running what we can do. We know that when we run our offense we get the shots that we want. They might not always go down but at least itâ€™s a shot we can get an offensive rebound on.â€
UF Junior Guard Funda Nakkasoglu
On LSUâ€™s full court press:
â€œWe knew they were going to come out and be aggressive from the beginning. I mean every SEC team has watched our previous games and they see that we sometimes struggle against pressure. Weâ€™ve been working on that constantly in practice and I think we just need to believe in ourselves and execute our press offenses.â€
UF Senior Post Paulina Hersler
On starting conference play 0-5
â€œNobody likes to lose and we arenâ€™t focusing on that. All we can do to get better is work really hard every day and control what we can control. We are going to keep fighting and we are going to learn from all the mistakes we keep making.â€
Whatâ€™s Next for the Gators
- Florida plays at Arkansas on Thursday, where tip-off from Bud Walton Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT.
- SEC Network will televise the game live with Courtney Lyle and Tamika Catchings calling the action.
Scores of Other SEC Games Played Sunday
- No. 6 Tennessee def. No. 9 SOUTH CAROLINA 86-70
- Georgia at No. 17 TEXAS A&M â€“ still in progress
- Alabama at No. 4 MISSISSIPPI STATE â€“ still in progress
- Arkansas at AUBURN â€“ 5 p.m. ET start
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
- JALAYSHA Thomas: jah-LAY-shuh
- DELICIA Washington: duh-LEE-shuh
Links of Note:
- Final Box (PDF): http://floridagators.com/documents/2018/1/14/UF59_LSU66.pdf
- Gator Highlights: http://floridagators.com/watch/?Archive=9656
- Postgame Presser: http://floridagators.com/watch/?Archive=9658