Florida falls to a .500 win-percentage after consecutive losses
The Florida Gators basketball team entered the weekend with high hopes after a strong performance over Georgia State last tuesday.
But not everything goes as planned.
Florida hit the floor and fell to 2-2 after participating in the preseason WNIT classic. The gauntlet of opponents included No. 5 North Carolina State, Towson and Wofford.
Game 1: Towson 87- Florida 70
The first matchup of the weekend against the Towson Tigers ended in a 17-point loss for the Gators but a few players emerged on the court to impress on the stat line.
Forward Jordyn Merritt posted her second career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Efficiency from the floor helped the sophomore go perfect from downtown on four shots and 6-13 from the field. Meanwhile, senior Kristina Moore racked up 12 points while playing off the bench.
The Gators were able to outrebound Towson by one board but the Tigers shot effectively from beyond the arc to go 12-19. The long range attack boosted the Towson runaway.
Game 2: No. 5 NC State 85 – Florida 52
The downhill tumble continued on Sunday in a 33-point slaughter from the Wolfpack.
NC State laid down the law beyond the arc to make 11 of 18 shots and cruise their way to a victory. The Wolfpack dominated the floor all game and out-scored Florida in all four quarters.
However, guard Kiki Smith was able to place a momentary bandage on the loss by leading Florida to a 7-0 run in the second frame of action. Smith finished the day with 16 points, three rebounds and two assists.
There was a bump in the road for NC State when Florida made a defensive adjustment at halftime and out scored the Wolfpack 14-10 in the third. But the Wolfpack made an adjustment of their own to go on a 12-2 run to open the final quarter and burst into a win.
Game 3: Wofford 47 – Florida 61
The weekend didn’t end in complete sorrow for the Orange and Blue after the Gators were able to topple Wofford by 14 points.
The Florida defense showed out for the WNIT finale and halted Wofford to no field goals within the first five minutes of play. Florida was off to a slow start as well but eventually picked up speed thanks to performances Smith and junior guard Lavender Briggs. The two offensive stars combined their efforts to rack up 25 points.
The game was Florida’s most impressive defensive performance of the weekend and went on a 10-2 run in the first quarter to ignite the team’s offense. By the end of the game, Florida’s defense racked up 10 steals and five blocks. Junior Faith Dut recorded a career-high three blocks.
Up next for the Florida Gators is a home stance against unranked Grambling State in the O’Dome at 6 p.m. on Friday.