The Gators women’s basketball team fell on the road to the Missouri Tigers 96-80 on Sunday. They are now 10-11 on the season and 3-10 in conference play.
The game was fairly close at first with Florida only trailing by five points after the first quarter. But the Tigers started momentum that eventually led to a 23-point lead.
The Gators were able to cut that lead to 10 with less than four minutes left in the game but the comeback would fall short.
What was once a 26 point lead for the Tigers has been cut to just 10 ‼️
3:32 Q4 | MIZ 86, UF 76 pic.twitter.com/QAK0KzX59M
— Gators Women’s Basketball (@GatorsWBK) February 21, 2021
But despite Rainey’s efforts, Missouri answered right back with a 10-0 run that sealed the win.
Florida struggles on defense
The Gators came into this game leading the SEC in three-point field goal percentage allowed and that statistic proved true in this game as the Gators allowed Missouri make 10 of their first 15 three-point shots and eventually make a program record 18 three-pointers in the game.
Florida also allowed the Tigers to shoot 44 percent for the game, and the Tigers shot a blistering 64.7% in the third quarter alone.
Gator head coach Cameron Newbauer commented on his team’s defensive struggles.
“Defensively the last three games we’ve just given up way too many points and offensively we scored more than enough points to win in all three of those games. So, it’s our defense.” said Newbauer.
Gators perform well offensively
Despite the loss, Florida’s offense performed well, finishing the game with 80 points. This now makes it the seventh time this season in which the team scored 80 points or more.
The Gators also featured four players who scored in double digits. This includes freshman Jordyn Merritt and senior Danielle Rainey who each scored 12 points. Junior Kristina Moore added 10 points. But the scoring star for Florida was senior Kiara Smith.
Smith scored a career-high 34 points in this game and it marks the 20th time in the last 21 games that she has reached double digits in scoring.
This is also her seventh time in the last nine games in which she scored 20 points or more; her 34 points are the third-most scored by an SEC player this season.
She also chipped in with 11 rebounds and four assists, making it her fifth double-double in the past eight games.
The Gators will be back home on Sunday, February 28th for their last game of the regular season. They will host number 22 Georgia for Senior Day. Tipoff from Gainesville is set for 1 pm.