Gators End Regular Season with Loss at No. 19 Georgia


Florida ended its regular season with a disappointing 63-43 loss to No. 19 Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum on Sunday.

Florida was in the game early and held a three-point lead with under four minutes left in the first quarter, however, Georgia ended the frame on a 13-2 run and extended its lead to 16 by the end of the half.

The Gators did get within eight points with 4:41 remaining in the third quarter, but Georgia followed with a 15-3 run to end the period and Florida would not recover.

Funda Nakkasoglu hit a three-pointer as the final horn sounded that gave her 10 points and was the only Gator to net a double-figure scoring effort.

Delicia Washington added eight points and eight rebounds, while freshman Mikayla Hayes came off the bench for eight points and four rebounds in 20 minutes of action.

Four Lady Bulldogs hit double-digits, with Mackenzie Engram and Cabby Connally recording 12 points each.

How it Happened

Florida opened strong with Dyandria Anderson’s three-pointer setting the initial tone and the Gators held the lead for the first six-plus minutes of the game.

Delicia Washington returned to the court after a one-game rest of an ankle injury and completed a three-point-play for her first points of the day that gave UF a three-point lead during the early going after UG had tied it up.

Georgia turned up its defense and forced four Gator turnovers in the final 3:15 of the opening quarter as the Lady Bulldogs closed on a 13-4 run for an 18-10 lead.

Haley Lorenzen stopped the march of eight straight points to open the second quarter with a great inside move for her 1,200th career point.

Georgia came back with a three before Paulina Hersler banked in an eight-footer. The Dawgs again answered with a three as their lead grew to 10 points, 24-14. UG scored again before Funda Nakkasoglu’s driving layup.

Georgia answered with another three and after Hersler hit another jumper, the hosts ripped off seven consecutive points for a 36-18 advantage.

Washington’s fade-away jumper dropped in to halt the spurt and Jalaysha Thomas followed with a three-pointer, as the Gators ended the half on an 8-2 run capped by Washington’s trey and UF cut its deficit to 39-26 at the half.

Georgia opened the third with a bucket but Florida hit back-to-back threes thanks to Mikayla Hayes and Nakkasoglu and the Gators were within eight points, 40-32, with 4:41 on the clock.

UG answered with an 11-3 run to end the third and its lead grew again and this time Florida didn’t have an answer.


UF Head Coach Cameron Newbauer:

Opening Remarks:

They just outplayed us in every aspect of the game. They don’t usually hit threes and they hit eight and that’s what they needed to do early and it changed the game. They outrebounded us by 10. We’re going to turn the page, move on. They are a good team that had a good year.

“Now, luckily, everybody’s starting zero-zero (record-wise). We’ll wait for a couple hours to see what seed we are in the SEC Tournament and who we’ll play in Nashville.”


On how Georgia hitting three-pointers that they usually don’t, change the game-plan:

“It changes everything. They shot 35 percent from three and hit eight of them, a lot of those early. We rushed a little bit on offense and took some quick shots, quick possessions and didn’t protect the ball like we needed to. We tried to make adjustments but weren’t successful at it so we’ve just got to turn the page on this and move on.”


Numbers of Note

  • Funda Nakkasoglu connected on a three-pointer for the 22nd consecutive game. It’s the third longest streak in program history.
  • Nakkasoglu converted the 400th made free throw of her career during the game and topped the 1,550 career point mark.
  • Haley Lorenzen scored the 1,200th point of her career during the game


What’s Next for the Gators

  • The Gators will travel directly from Athens to Nashville, site of the 2018 SEC Tournament where UF will play its first round game on Wednesday at Bridgestone Arena.
  • Seedings will be determined at the end of Sunday’s play.


UF’s SEC Tournament Seed

  • Florida will be either the No. 11 or No. 12 seed at the 14-team, five-day event.
  • Entering the final day of the regular season, the Gators are tied with Arkansas and own the head-to-head tiebreak against the Razorbacks.
  • Arkansas is at Vanderbilt on Sunday.
  • If UF has the same result against Georgia that Arkansas has against Vanderbilt, the Gators will be the 11 seed and play Ole Miss (which has locked up 14 seed) at approximately 2:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. CT.
  • If Arkansas beats Vanderbilt and Florida loses to Georgia, the Gators are the 12 seed and will play 13-seed Vanderbilt at 12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT.


Gator Pronunciations for this Release:

  • MIKAYLA Hayes: mih-KAY-la
  • FUNDA NAKKASOGLU: FOON-da knock-ah-SO-glue
  • JALAYSHA Thomas: jah-LAY-shuh
  • DELICIA Washington: duh-LEE-shuh


Links of Note:


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