GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida committed a season-high 24 turnovers that No. 12 Ohio State converted into 42 points and took the 103-77 decision against the Gators at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Wednesday evening.
Florida (5-4) trailed by 20 with 2:54 remaining in the second quarter, but staged a 25-11 run over the next 7:52 and the Gators were within six points, 60-54, with 5:02 left in the third. The final points of that spree coming on a four-point-play by Paulina Hersler.
Ohio State (9-2) countered with a 16-4 march over the next 4:06 of the game and took a 76-59 lead into the final quarter, where the Buckeyes outscored the Gators 27-18 for the final margin.
Ohio State scored the first 10 points of the game before Funda Nakkasoglu's three-pointer got Florida on the board. That pace continued during the first quarter, as the visitors held a 31-18 lead at the end of the frame.
UF Head Coach Cameron Newbauer Opening statement:
"We fought, I thought we started off kind off shell shocked. You explain to a team what Kelsey Mitchell can do but I don't think you can fully understand it until you're on the court with her. Explosive scorer. There is a reason why she is averaging 28 points a game. So that kind of got us on our heels immediately. Did a great job fighting back, cut it to 60-54 with 4 or 5 minutes left in the third quarter and then, I'll quantify it as selfish basketball for a quick stretch there. We had a lot of possessions where we went one-on-one and went away from what we do and it really bit us in the tail; and next you thing you know the wheels kind of came off and it was out of control. Hats off to Ohio State, there is a reason why they started in the preseason top 5 or 6. Coach McGuff does a nice job, very good team that took us out of the game. I wasn't happy with our overall response as a team but we will get better from this, we'll grow from this and we will keep growing."
On the turnovers and sloppy play
"Two games in a row, 45 turnovers the last two games. Difference last game was we kept making shots and getting stops. If you're going to turn the ball over, you've got to get stops and rebounds and we didn't do that tonight and that puts a premium on your offensive possessions. We got sped up and tried to make decisions and quick plays. We tried to make Ohio State-type plays and that's how they play. We can't play at that speed and next thing we know there is 180 points on the board and that's not going to be in our favor."
On positives from the game
"We were 8-of-10 from the free throw line so our free throws are going up. We out rebounded them by eight, we had 17 offensive rebounds. Haley (Lorenzen) had a great day with a double-double, 17 [points] and 11 [rebounds]. We had four players in double figures, we hit nine threes. The result isn't what we wanted but we did have some great possessions where we shared the ball and played really well in moments and spurts. It's part of the process. You get punched a lot when you're trying to do something that is really hard and you got to get back up and keep fighting, otherwise you stay where you were."
What's Next for the Gators
Who: Florida hosts Marshall (3-5), which defeated Morgan State on Wednesday, 73-68
When: Sun., Dec. 10 at 1 p.m.
Where: Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center * Gainesville, FL TV: SEC Network with Brenda VanLengen & Andraya Carter