Gators Drop Double-Overtime Thriller at Ole Miss

Florida dropped a thrilling 78-75 double-overtime decision at Ole Miss at The Pavilion at Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon.

The Gators trailed nearly the entire regulation period and by as many as 15 points with 5:37 remaining in the third quarter, before staging their comeback that nearly produced the team’s first Southeastern Conference win of the season.

Instead, the Rebels (11-5, 1-2 SEC) captured their first league victory with clutch free throws, as Madinah Muhammad, who was held in check for the majority of the contest, came through when her team needed her most. The junior was 2-of-19 shooting from the floor without a free throw attempt and just five points after entering the game netting nearly 19 points per outing. She finished the game with 11 points that included a 4-of-4 effort from the line during the second overtime. With Ole Miss down one with 2.7 seconds remaining in the second extra frame, Muhammad calmly sank both gave the Rebels a 76-75 lead.

Florida had the ball for the final possession with a chance, but couldn’t inbound the ball was whistled for the five-second violation. Mahammad went back to the line for two more makes to complete the game’s scoring.

Haley Lorenzen (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Paulina Hersler (12 points, 11 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles, Funda Nakkasoglu scored 18 points thanks to five three-pointers and Dyandria Anderson added 12 points for the Gators, who hit 10 treys during the game.

Florida (8-8, 0-3 SEC) finished 11-of-18 from the free throw line, but just a 6-of-10 effort during overtime.

How It Happened

Florida was its own worst enemy in the first half by committing 11 turnovers, with six of those unforced. Ole Miss capitalized with 14 points.

Neither team shot particularly well, with the Gators hitting just 33.3 percent (8-24) overall that included a 3-of-10 effort from the three-point arc.

After Florida took a quick 7-4 lead, the Rebels responded with the next 10 points until the Funda Nakkasoglu knocked down a three and halted the run.

Taylor converted a three-point-play for Ole Miss, before Mikayla Hayes came up with a steal, ran the court and Nakkasoglu found her underneath on the other end for a bucket to end the first quarter’s scoring with the Gators down, 17-12.

Paulina Hersler began the second quarter with an eight-footer and the teams traded buckets for the next three minutes before Ole Miss used a 7-0 spurt for a 29-19 lead.

Haley Lorenzen knocked down a pair of free throws for her first points of the game with 30.9 seconds left in the first half and stopped the mini-run. Ole Miss, however, was fouled and converted both from the line with six seconds remaining and took a 31-21 halftime lead.

Florida missed its final nine field goal attempts of the half, with its final one coming on Nakkasoglu’s three with 6:57 on the clock.

In the first five-plus minutes of the second half, Ole Miss corralled five offensive rebounds and converted those into eight points, as the Rebel lead swelled to 15 points.

The Gators, however, responded with a 13-2 run with scoring from Lorenzen, Hersler, Nakkasoglu and  Delicia Washington and Florida was within four points, 43-39, with 64 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Ole Miss came right back with the final three buckets and its lead was back to 10 entering the final period.

Florida ripped out of the huddle with an 11-2 run and was within one, 51-50, with 5:33 remaining.

The Rebels followed with the next five points, capped with a three at the shot clock buzzer by Torri Lewis, and the lead was back to four with 47 seconds left.

Hersler put in a jumper for the Gators with 31 seconds on the clock and the Gators fouled Alissa Alston, who made one from the line with 19.1 remaining.

Lorenzen came back with a 10-footer for the Gators, who were back within one, 60-59, and just over 13 ticks on the clock.

Florida again sent Alston to the line, where she made one with 13.2 seconds left.

Hersler set up for the three-pointer from the top of the arc, but missed and Anderson was there to collect the offensive board for the putback and tied the game with less than one second on the clock.

Ole Miss’ final play was off the mark and the game headed to overtime.


In the Extra Frames

Lorenzen hit two free throws and Anderson added a three-pointer that helped Florida take a 66-63 lead early in the first overtime.

Alissa Alston then banged in a three to tie the game with 2:48 left, before Washington hit one from the line for a one-point Gator lead.

Promise Taylor scored two of her 16 points next that swung the lead back to the Rebels, who blocked Florida’s shot on its next offensive trip.

Lorenzen came through, however, and converted a pair of free throws with 43.3 seconds left and Nakkasoglu followed with one that gave UF a 70-68 lead with 4.0 seconds on the clock.

Alston then drove the lane and dropped in a shot at the buzzer and sent the game into a second overtime, tied at 70.

Ole Miss scored first and the teams answered each other for the first 3:39 of the five-minute period. With the Rebels leading by one, Lorenzen drilled a three-pointer with 57 seconds remaining for the 75-74 lead.

The Rebels couldn’t convert and fouled Sydney Searcy, who missed two free throws with 12.2 seconds left.

With the clock winding down, Muhammad drove inside and was fouled with 2.7 seconds on the clock, where she made both and then two more to seal the outcome.

Individual Numbers of Note

  • Funda Nakkasoglu recorded her ninth consecutive double-figure scoring game.
  • Haley Lorenzen recorded her eighth double-double of the season and 12th of her career
  • Paulina Hersler recorded the second double-double of the season and her career
  • Delicia Washington’s first assist of the game was her 50 this year, equaling her entire total from last year (51) in 29 games
  • Washington collected the 300th rebound of her career during the game
  • Haley Lorenzen started the 90th game of her career
  • Dyandria Anderson started the 65th game of her career and her 49th straight
  • Washington fouled out of the game during the second overtime, the first time a Gator has fouled out this season.

Of Note

  • This was UF’s first 2OT game since Jan. 29, 2012 at Arkansas
  • Sunday’s game was the first of two meetings this season between the Gators and Rebels. They will face off again in 14 days (Jan. 21) in Gainesville.
  • Sunday’s game was UF’s third true away game of the season.
  • The Gators wore black uniforms for the second time this season (also vs. Ohio State).
  • UF’s second-half starters: Searcy, Hayes, Hersler, Washington and Nakkasoglu

Quotes from the Court – UF Coach Cameron Newbauer


What’s Next for the Gators

  • Florida returns to Gainesville for a two-game homestand, first playing host to Kentucky (8-9, 0-3 SEC) on Thursday (Jan. 11) and then to LSU on Sunday (Jan. 14).
  • The game against the Wildcats will not be televised, but be streamed live online through SEC Network +, which can be viewed on the WatchESPN app.

Scores of Other SEC Games Played Sunday

  • #7 TENNESSEE def. Vanderbilt, 86-73
  • Georgia def. KENTUCKY, 56-42
  • #5 Mississippi State def. LSU, 83-70
  • #15 MISSOURI def. #4 South Carolina, 83-74
  • #19 Texas A&M def. AUBURN, 82-73
  • Alabama def. ARKANSAS, 83-76

Gator Pronunciations for this Release:

  • DYANDRIA Anderson: dee-ANN-dree-uh
  • MIKAYLA Hayes: mih-KAY-la
  • FUNDA NAKKASOGLU: FOON-da knock-ah-SO-glue
  • Sydney SEARCY: SIR-see
  • DELICIA Washington: duh-LEE-shuh


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