Gators Rally for Second Consecutive Win


Florida overcame a 13-point deficit to start the fourth quarter by outscoring Ole Miss, 18-4, in the final period to post a 61-60 victory at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Sunday afternoon.

The Gators scored the first 14 points of the fourth quarter and took a 59-56 lead with 2:50 remaining. The Rebels came back with the next two buckets for a one-point edge, before Haley Lorenzen grabbed an offensive rebound and put it in with 27 seconds remaining that proved to be the game-winner.

Ole Miss had a chance to win it with 9.1 seconds to play, but Lorenzen blocked Alissa Alston’s layup and Dyandria Anderson grabbed the rebound with one second remaining. The Gators inbounded the ball and secured their second consecutive Southeastern Conference victory after dropping their first five.

Lorenzen finished with a game-high 18 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for her 11th double-double this season and 15th of her career. The Gator senior scored seven of her points during the fourth quarter on 3-of-4 shooting, that included a deep three-pointer she launched as the shot clock expired with 5:20 remaining that cut Florida’s deficit to three points, 56-53, and sent the Gators’ fans into a frenzy.

Sophomore Delicia Washington also recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebound to go along with four assists.


How It Happened

Florida took the early lead and held the 18-14 edge by the end of the first quarter. The Gators continued with the first six points of the second and took a 24-14 lead with less than two minutes in.

Florida, however, made just one of its final nine shots of the first half and committed five turnovers during the final 8:33, as Ole Miss went on a 15-2 run in the final 8:09 and reversed a 24-14 Gators lead into a 29-26 Rebels advantage entering the locker room.

The Gators scored a season-low eight points in the second quarter, while Ole Miss tacked on 15 to its total.

The Rebels continued to outscore Florida in the third and finished the period with Bree Glover hitting a three as the horn sounded to end the quarter that gave Ole Miss a 56-43 lead.

Both team shot well in that third quarter, with Ole Miss hitting 68.8 percent (11-16) and Florida 58.3 percent (7-12).

Then came the deciding fourth, when every possession became magnified.

Funda Nakkasoglu got the scoring started with a layup after an Ole Miss miss. Paulina Hersler then added a jumper and Florida was within single digits that prompted an early Rebels timeout.

Madinah Muhammad, who finished with 17 points, missed her shot and the Rebels got the offensive board, before Washington came up with a steal.

Nakkasoglu found the bottom of the net from beyond the arc and Ole Miss wouldn’t connect on its next possession, as Lorenzen game up with the defensive board.

With the shot clock winding down, Lorenzen had the ball well outside the arc but launched it as the shot clock expired and dropped in and Florida was within three points, 56-53, with 5:20 remaining.

The Rebels missed and Washington’s layup at the 4:27 mark had Florida within one point, 56-55.

Muhammad’s three attempt was off the mark, as was Anderson’s at the other end, but she followed her miss and found Washington for the jumper with 3:22 left and Florida had its first lead since the second quarter.

After another one-and-done for Ole Miss, Nakkasoglu’s trey attempt was off but Lorenzen grabbed one of her four fourth-quarter offensive rebounds and put it in for the three-point lead and 2:50 remaining.

Ole Miss called a timeout and responded with the next four points on layups from Promise Taylor and Alston for the 60-59 lead with 1:57 on the clock.

Florida missed its next three shots, but Alston wouldn’t connect either.

With 31 seconds remaining, Washington fired up a three that hit the back board and dropped into Lorenzen’s hands and she put it in for the 61-60 lead that held up for the finish.


Close Ones

  • The Gators have played 10 games decided by 10 points or less (4-6 record overall, 1-4 SEC).

Numbers of Note

  • Ole Miss’ four points in the fourth quarter were the fewest by a Gator opponent in the fourth quarter or any quarter this season.
  • Florida’s eight points were its fewest in the second quarter of a game this season.
  • This was the first time in seven games that Florida won after trailing at halftime (down, 29-26)
  • Florida outrebounded Ole Miss in the fourth quarter, 15-5, that helped win the overall rebound  battle 43-24.

Gators vs. Rebels: The Updated Series

  • 38-Game Series: UF leads 21-17 (UF Home: 9-10; Away: 12-6; Neutral: 0-1)
  • Streak: Florida halted Ole Miss’ two-game win streak in the series that included the Jan. 7 double-overtime thriller in Oxford and last year’s game in Gainesville, 84-75
  • Quirky Streak: Prior to this year, it had been a five-game streak won by the away team. The last time the home team won in the series was during the 2011-12 season, when the teams played twice and both won on their respective home courts.
  • Florida’s last win vs. Ole Miss: Jan. 10, 2016 – 85-65 in Oxford in the first women’s game played at The Pavilion at Ole Miss
  • Florida last HOME win vs. Ole Miss: Feb. 5, 2012 – 84-55

We Back Pat

  • All 14 SEC teams are participating this week in the SEC initiative ‘We Back Pat,” which honors the late Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt and helps bring awareness to the Pat Summitt Foundation and finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, the disease that eventually took her life.
  • Purple is the color for Alzheimer’s and the team’s will be wearing special shooting shirts during the game and incorporating the color purple into their clothing on the bench.


Quotes from the Court:

UF Coach Cameron Newbauer

Opening Statement:

“Just very, very proud of the resolve, the resilience that we’ve showed. We’ve talked about it for a while with our toughness and you go into a fourth quarter down 13 and things aren’t going the best for you; and we’ve just been talking about being better each position and be tougher and that’s what that fourth-quarter was. 18-4, we weren’t sure if we could go man against this team and we did it. We did not prepare at all for any man plays against this team and I hope our players see the confidence that should breed in them in knowing we didn’t even have to prepare for their man stuff and we still got the biggest stops in the game when we had to do it because we dug in and played really good team defense and got some really big-time offensive rebounds.

“When we played them at their place they had 20 offensive rebounds and they only had seven tonight. So the toughness of our team, mental, physical, emotional, to just get this done tonight. Delicia’s pace continues to improve with her decision making, with her change of pace; had some great decisions tonight with her shot selection and she hit some really big shots and then four assists and zero turnovers. Haley (Lorenzen) coming up with some big plays, the three to start the game and then the three late in the game, were such energy plays for us.”

“Hats off to these three (Delicia Washington, Haley Lorenzen and Paulina Hersler) and to the team and just the resolve and toughness we showed and it makes me very, very proud to celebrate this, and such an incredible crowd today. I mean Haley hits that three and the place erupted. That’s my first taste of a big time SEC home game for us. I couldn’t be more grateful for our fans and for Gator Nation showing up and being as loud as they were when we needed them most, so thank you!”


On his message to team entering the fourth quarter

“Message didn’t really change throughout the game, it was just the same that we had at halftime. It was just keep fighting and keep trying to be a little better each possession. Just to tighten up and be a little smarter and stronger. I just challenged them to bring a little more energy and we got that.”


On “We Back Pat” game

“I want to say how proud of a moment it is to get to compete and coach in the SEC and to honor Pat Summit with “We Back Pat” games to raise awareness for such a debilitating disease that is really affecting our country and anything people can do to help, raise money raise awareness, to help battle that disease it’s great. She didn’t just impact a game, she impacted so many women’s lives in every sport around the world so it’s an honor to get to wear this shirt and get to coach in this league for sure.”


Gator Senior Haley Lorenzen

On what she saw on the final defensive play

“The biggest thing we wanted to do was make sure they caught the ball going the opposite direction and then we were actually supposed to go into our 2-3 defense but the on-ball happened so quickly I just let the instincts take over and went with the man because I knew that she wasn’t going to be expecting a ball screen at that point and so I just did my best to not foul her and contest he layup.”


On the physicality of the game

“To start off, we let them throw the first punch and they got up in us and we didn’t handle it well at first. We tried to overpower it but that led to some offensive fouls and some not-so-smart decision. Toward the second-half and especially in the fourth quarter, we regrouped and we could handle this and we got this. I think once we took a deep breath and realized that we were in control that was when we starting making the right decision and showing true strength and boxing out and getting defensive stops and huge rebounds and staying in front of our man.”


Gator sophomore Delcia Washington

On her big fourth quarter

“Started by picking up my leadership. My teammates have been wanting more from me, being a leader on the floor. So, I’m just trying to give a little more leadership and get more leadership on the floor and that it will take care of the process of me playing the game. Having my teammates having my back is a big part of the game and I couldn’t do it without them.”


Gator Senior Paulina Hersler

On the fourth quarter defense

“We mixed up our defense towards the end, playing some zone and some man-to-man and we are just trying to get a stops. It starts on defense and it will help us on offense and transition to better shots. It was our mindset and I feel like we were very assertive and aggressive.”


What’s Next for the Gators

  • Florida travels to Starkville to play 2017 NCAA runner-up Mississippi State in Humphrey Coliseum on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT.
  • The game will be televised live on SEC Network with Pam Ward and Gail Goestenkors calling the action.
  • Thursday’s game will be the first of two regular-season meetings between the Gators and Bulldogs, with the second taking place 14 days later in Gainesville on Feb. 8.


Gator Pronunciations for this Release:

  • DYANDRIA Anderson: dee-ANN-dree-uh
  • FUNDA NAKKASOGLU: FOON-da knock-ah-SO-glue
  • DELICIA Washington: duh-LEE-shuh


Links of Note:


SOCIAL: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram