Scott Stricklin

Florida Women’s Hoops Falls At Home to Mississippi State

The Florida women’s basketball team played against Mississippi State Bulldogs Thursday night. Both teams played to support female cancer survivors. The Gators wore pink uniforms, and Gator guard KK Deans even had pink hair for the occasion. The Bulldogs wore pink socks and shoes in support of Florida’s annual Play4Kay game.

A Gator strong start to the game didn’t last, as Florida drops a 73-56 decision to the Bulldogs.

Gator Struggles

The Gators did an excellent job creating plays that positioned themselves for various open shots. However, many of the shots wouldn’t fall through.  Starter Leilani Correa struggled offensively, going just 1 of 8 from deep and just 2 of 15 from the field overall.  On the other hand, KK Deans, had a solid night, scoring 17 points, going 2 of-6 from the arc and 5 of 10 from the field. Deans was the only Gator player to reach double-figure scoring on the night.

Overall, Florida was just 19 of 59 from the field in the contest.

Bulldog Success

Mississippi State outshined the Gators through their offensive execution and physical defensive play. The trio of guards in Jerkaila Jordan, Ahlana Smith and Asianae Johnson, were the ones who took over the game. Their quickness on the court, ability to get the rebound to finish and consistent scoring were significant factors in the Bulldog victory.

Jerkaila Jordan was the top scorer of the game scoring 20 points. She made all of her three point shots and was 8 of 10 from the field.  She also had nine rebounds, making her the game’s leading rebounder. Ahlana Smith made quick and easy layups, shot open threes and made all her free throws to chip in with 12 points. Asinae Johnson scored 11 points and impacted the game through her quickness to the basket and defensive play, which created a lot of pressure for the Gators.

Florida coach Kelly Rae Finley knows her team gave their maximum effort on the court.

“I know they’re disappointed. I know we all are,” said Finley.  “We’re not getting the results that we want, but we have the choice to stick together, and that’s what we’re doing.” Finley’s plan for the team is to improve by implementing changes before the end of the season.

The Gators will travel to Athens, where they will take on the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday.

About Cristina Santiago

Cristina Santiago is a senior at the University of Florida studying journalism with a concentration in sports and media.

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