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Photo by Allen Sharpe. Courtesy of the University Athletic Association

Florida Women’s Hoops Falls to Ole Miss, Drops to 1-4 in SEC Play

Throughout the season, the Gators women’s basketball team has not been able to come out victorious on the road.

Florida entered Sunday’s away matchup versus Ole Miss winless in games not played at the O’Dome. Although they kept it close for most of the game, UF couldn’t make enough plays to get their first road win of their 2018-2019 campaign.

This weekend’s 76-66 loss to the Rebels dropped the Gators to 0-8 away from home and 5-13 overall on the season.

Back-and-Forth First Half

The Gators fell behind by eight points in just over four minutes of game time and also saw their deficit grow to 10 points later in the first quarter. With each time that Florida saw the Rebels’ lead grow, however, they made sure that they were within striking distance.

By the time the first period concluded, UF was down by only two possessions after several players registered points in the box score:

The next ten minutes saw Florida bounce back defensively and continue to share the wealth on the offensive end.
Redshirt senior and leading scorer Funda Nakkasoglu chipped in four points on a layup and a jumper in the second quarter. Zada Williams established her presence in the paint with a couple of layups of her own.
True freshman Kristina Moore also got two buckets to go to end the first half with six points.
On the defensive end, the Gators gave up just 12 points and no three-pointers in the quarter. Overall, Florida trailed by one point going into halftime but allowed Ole Miss to shoot over 48 percent from the field in the first half.

Poor Shooting From Florida

The Gators could not buy a basket coming out of halftime, which led to a poor third period of action by the team.

Overall, they shot 3 of 12 from the field, connecting on two shots from behind the arc. They also collected 11 rebounds, but only managed to put up 14 points in this frame.

On the other side, however, Ole Miss did an excellent job of giving themselves a comfortable lead over Florida. The Rebels were 8 of 14 shooting in the third quarter and also made a couple of three-pointers. That efficiency led to them outscoring the Gators by 8 points and going up 56-47 with ten minutes left to play.

UF cut their opponent’s lead to five points two minutes into the fourth quarter with back-to-back triples by Nakkasoglu and Delicia Washington. This was Washington’s first and only made shot of the night as she finished 1 of 11 from the field.

The Gators were able to cut it to four points with just under three minutes to play, but the Rebels knocked down crucial free throws to ice the game.

In the end, Nakkasoglu wound up with 21 points on over 50 percent shooting from the field. For the second consecutive game, redshirt sophomore Danielle Rainey scored at least 15 points. Williams scored double-digit points for the eighth time this season.

What’s Next for the Gators

Florida will have back-to-back home games for the first time since early December. UF will take on Mississippi State on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Arkansas on Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Gators’ loss against Ole Miss marked their fourth conference loss of the season and dropped their SEC record to 1-4. Luckily for head coach Cameron Newbauer, his group is 5-4 at home and has been fairly competitive when playing in Gainesville.

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