Thursday’s road game against South Carolina saw Florida women’s basketball suffer its worst loss of the season.
Against the 21st ranked Gamecocks, the Gators struggled to put the ball in the basket consistently. Their resurgence in the second quarter wasn’t enough to stop them from falling to 4-12 on the season after losing 71-40.
Florida’s loss versus South Carolina marked the third-largest margin of defeat for the team in Cameron Newbauer’s tenure as head coach. The Gators lost by 37 and 48 to Mississippi State on two separate occasions last year.
Not backing down
The Gamecocks entered this SEC match up averaging 75 points per game with a plus-11 scoring margin. They immediately put their offensive and defensive capabilities on display at the start of their game against the Gators.
Florida quickly fell behind 19-0 after South Carolina drained 8 of their first 10 attempts from the field. Funda Nakkasoglu, the team’s leading scorer, converted a solid left-handed layup to finally get the Gators on the scoreboard.
Although they were down 24-9 after the first 10 minutes of play, Florida bounced back in the second quarter.
Led by sophomore Kiara Smith’s eight points, the Gators outscored the Gamecocks 14-13 in this period. Smith knocked down two three-pointers and redshirt junior Zada Williams also chipped in four points. The team’s defense was also impressive as they held their opponent to just 6 of 19 shooting from the field.
Unable to keep it close
Florida showed resiliency before halftime, but they could not significantly cut their deficit for the rest of the game.
After the Gators weren’t budging at the start of the third quarter, the Gamecocks went on a run that put the nail in the proverbial coffin. South Carolina went on a 12-2 run in the final six minutes of play in the period to extend their lead to 25 points.
The final frame of play did not get too much better for Newbauer’s group as the Gamecocks outscored them 15-9. A positive note was that junior forward Paige Robinson got in the box score after going scoreless against Auburn on Sunday.
For the entire game, Florida was 15-59 from the field (25.4 percent) and connected on just 20 percent of their shots from behind the arc. In comparison, South Carolina knocked down nearly 47 percent of their field goal attempts and made 8 of their 20 three-pointers.
After falling to 0-7 on the road, the Gators will return back home to the O’Dome on Sunday. They will be taking on Missouri for their fourth-straight game of SEC competition.
Tipoff for that game against the Tigers will be at 3 p.m.