FINAL: ARKANSAS STATE 70, FLORIDA 69
GAINESVILLE, FL- The Florida Gators did almost everything wrong on Tuesday, but still had a chance to win the game at the buzzer. After forcing a five-second violation with 5.6 seconds remaining, Florida senior Dyandria Anderson hoisted a three-point shot that rimmed out and was rebounded by Arkansas State’s Akasha Westbrook. Arkansas State (1-1) defeated Florida (1-1) 70-69.
Florida turned the ball over 23 times and gave up 20 offensive rebounds to a team that, according to ASU coach Brian Boyer, “couldn’t match up size-wise [to Florida].” Boyer did mention that his team had focused on outmatching Florida’s athleticism due to the size advantage.
Florida made it a one point game after a three pointer by Funda Nakkasoglu with 20 seconds left in the game. Gators coach Cameron Newbauer attempted to call a time out to discuss strategy, but it was just late as the Red Wolves had already inbounded the ball. What ensued was a confused Florida team that couldn’t hear the coaching staff on the far bench, allowing almost 15 seconds to tick off the clock before finally committing a foul. Nakkasoglu said that “we can’t always look to the bench,” but also implied that the players on the court needed to communicate better.
Amazingly, Florida forced the five second call, and still had a chance to win the game. “We did not deserve to win regardless of the last shot,” Newbauer said during the postgame press conference. “We did not find shooters…and we were outfought in every area [of the game].”
Nakkasoglu led Florida with 16 points on 6-9 shooting, including 4-5 from behind the three-point arc. Grad-transfer Paulina Hersler recorded the first double-double of her career with 12 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Hersler’s previous career high was 7 rebounds. Sophomore Delicia Washington added 11 points to the cause.
Jada Ford scored 17 points off the bench to lead Arkansas State. Peyton Martin added 15 and Westbrook contributed 14 more.
Florida will attempt to regroup to face #17 Florida State on Friday at Exactech Arena. When asked about preparing for the Seminoles, Newbauer said it was more about self-reflection and correcting their mistakes. “We aren’t a good enough team, we have no margin for error. We must learn a lot when we lose.”
Florida finishes a three game homestand with rival Florida State. Florida State is 2-0 with wins over North Florida (109-51) and Jacksonville State (75-51).
Florida vs Florida State
November 17, 2017
7:00 PM / Exactech Arena