In their second match up of the season against the Missouri Tigers (12-9, 2-6), the Gator women’s basketball team (10-11, 2-6) struggled offensively once again and it cost them the game just as it did on January 11th in Columbia. The Gators were defeated 68-52 on their home court, and did not lead the entire game.
Florida coach Amanda Butler says she prepared her team but it just did not execute.
“They really didn’t do anything that we didn’t expect them to do. They did it very well and we just had critical breakdowns whether it be not communicating or not really challenging a shot. We got shot in our face a couple times. I thought we did a good job preparing them for it but obviously I didn’t do a good enough job getting us ready for it.”
Florida was very consistent during the first half. They were shooting, rebounding, and defending well enough to stay afloat. Guard Carlie Needles had a strong first half for the Gators after not being able to play in the first Missouri game because of injury. She left the game with 18 points late in the second half after fouling out. Other Gators also struggled with fouls; January Miller had four with Ronni Williams and Brooke Copeland each finishing with three. Kayla Lewis was the only other Gator in double digit scoring with 10 points.
At the half, Florida only trailed 30-29. But when the second half began, it was all Missouri. The Tigers were shooting almost 50% from the field and 75% from the free throw line. Florida shot 34% and only 47% from free throw line. They were out rebounded by the Tigers 46-31, with only nine offensive rebounds.
Needles spoke about the team shooting 9 of 19 from the free throw line.
“You have to step up to the free throw line and hit your free throws, especially on our home court. We practice that every day and in shoot around.”
Butler’s team only has three days to prepare for their Sunday afternoon match up against Vanderbilt. You can listen to the game right here on ESPN 850 WRUF, with coverage beginning at 3:45.
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