Gators Earn Coach Cam First SEC Win

Paulina Hersler tied her career-high of 19 points, Haley Lorenzen tallied a double-double and Florida defeated Arkansas, 65-51, at Bud Walton Arena to earn its first Southeastern Conference win of the season.

Hersler and Lorenzen, who comprise the Gator’s frontcourt, combined for 31 points and 17 rebounds and led Florida’s effort in the paint, where it outscored Arkansas, 36-18.

The Gators (9-10, 1-5 SEC), who never trailed during the game, use an impressive third quarter to build an 18-point lead and stood up to the Razorback’s fourth-quarter rally to become just the second team in 10 games to defeat Arkansas (11-8, 2-4 SEC) in Fayetteville this year.

Delicia Washington also added a double-figure scoring night with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Lorenzen capped the game with 12 points, 10 rebounds and tied her career-high of five assists.


Big Third Quarter by the Gators

The Gators controlled the third quarter and held an 18-7 scoring advantage over the Razorbacks, who managed to hit just 11.1 percent (2-18) during the quarter when Florida shot a steady 36.8 percent (7-19).

Combined with Hersler’s three-pointer that ended the second quarter, Florida scored 13 straight points after Arkansas had cut the Gator lead to four with 26 seconds remaining in the first half.

Hersler had eight points during that spurt, with Dyandria Anderson adding a three-pointer and Washington knocking down a pair from the line.

Arkansas scored the next four points, but Florida responded with 10 consecutive points for a 53-35 lead and 26 seconds left in the third quarter.


Standing their Ground in the Fourth Quarter

Arkansas jumped out with the first seven points as part of a 11-2 run to start the fourth quarter and cut Florida’s lead to 10 points, 55-45, with 6:58 remaining.

During the first 3:14 of the period, Florida had three turnovers – two of them unforced – that resulted in four points. The Razorbacks also collect a pair of offensive rebounds during the early spurt that helped in the host’s 8-2 spurt.

Washington and Lorenzen added buckets before Arkansas came right back with six consecutive points and Florida’s lead was down to single digits with 3:51 to play.

Hersler stepped up with a tough inside basket and Nakkasoglu followed with a pair of free throws with 39 seconds remaining before Washington closed the game’s scoring with a layup.


First Half at a Glance

Florida jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead with scoring from Delicia Washington, Paulina Hersler (five points) and Haley Lorenzen that forced an early Arkansas timeout just 2:24 into the game.

The Razorbacks responded out of the break with the next four points and the team traded buckets over next four minutes before Arkansas cut UF’s lead to two on a three-pointer from Malica Monk with 1:47 left in the opening quarter.

Sydney Searcy answered with a trey for the Gators who ended the quarter with an 18-13 lead.

Funda Nakkasoglu started the second with a three-pointer and with Searcy’s bucket ignited a 13-2 run that gave Florida a 28-15 lead with 6:23 remaining in the second. Searcy capped the spree with her second trey, just one game after missing all six of her long-range attempts.

Hersler had the other two buckets during the march, as she ended the first half with 12 points, capping the period’s scoring with her second three that answered the Razorback’s pair of treys and Florida marched into the locker room with a 35-28 lead.


Individual Numbers of Note

  • Hersler scored 12 of her 19 points in the first half to record her 14th double-figure scoring game this year and the 16th of her career; also her fourth consecutive double-digit game
  • Lorenzen logged her 13th double-figure scoring game of the year and 52nd of her career
  • Lorenzen’s double-double was her 10th this season and 14th of her career.
  • Washington tallied her 12th double-figure scoring game this year and 31st of her career.


Numbers of Note

  • Entering tonight’s game, the Gators had lost five straight games, including each of the last four by single digits.
  • Florida won its fifth consecutive game against Arkansas and improved to 11-5 all-time in Fayetteville.
  • Florida and Arkansas feature the SEC’s two head coaching newcomers, with Cameron Newbauer and Mike Neighbors hired during the off season.


Quotes from the Court – UF Coach Cameron Newbauer

“Wins on the road means we’re stopping for ice cream. That’s part of our program so we’re going to find a place. I’m proud of the effort, the fight, even when it got a little rocky there at the end. We hit some free throws and hung on and got stops when we had to. Our offense wasn’t perfect but we got points and rebounds when we had to. That was key tonight.”

On coming out strong in the second half:

“We had some slow starts in the third quarter and I thought our players did a great job tonight being focused and keeping their foot down, being aggressive and attacking. Delicia (Washington) did a good job tonight. Haley, Paulina did a good job controlling the inside for us, forcing a double from them in the second half that freed open some other shots for us on the perimeter. We didn’t knock them down, per say, but we kept the ball moving and had some long possessions and they played defense probably longer than they wanted.”

“This was an overall team win for us tonight. Tameria (Johnson) came in and gave us some good defensive minutes. Overall, we had a lot of good performances from a lot of people. Sydney Searcy’s two threes for us in the first half were huge. I’m proud of our kids because they’ve been working so hard for this. They are deserving of this moment. They continued to fight, even when it wasn’t pretty. I’m just proud of our effort and am excited to get some ice cream.”


What’s Next for the Gators

  • Florida returns to Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center where it will play host to Ole Miss on Sunday at 1 p.m.
  • The two teams met just 14 days ago in Oxford, where the Rebels edged the Gators in double-overtime, 78-75.


Gator Pronunciations for this Release:

  • DYANDRIA Anderson: dee-ANN-dree-uh
  • Sydney SEARCY: SIR-see
  • DELICIA Washington: duh-LEE-shuh


Links of Note:


SOCIAL: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram