Florida can’t overcome woes in the third quarter and lose to George Mason, 75-71

Photo by Brian Fox | ChompTalk

The Florida Gators laid everything on the line to force a comeback on Wednesday night. But team tripped up in the end with costly turnovers and Florida’s five-game winning streak has come to a close after a 75-71 loss to the George Mason Patriots.

The four-game road trip is almost over and the Gators looked up to shape until the third quarter of Wednesday’s matchup.

Florida shot well from the field but four ill-advised looks from beyond the arc proved costly as the Patriots rallied a comeback and ran away with a 51-48 lead at the end of the frame.

UF brought it back to a one possession game thanks to a clutch jump shot by guard Lavender Briggs. The score rested with the Patriots on top, 51-48, but Florida gathered in a huddle led by head coach Kelly Rae Finley to draw up the perfect comeback.

The drawing board may have looked attractive, but George Mason became a juggernaut and fended off any blow Florida tried to deliver. That is, until the one minute mark when Briggs delivered a swish from downtown to bring the score within one point. The final George Mason possession was the end of Florida’s efforts after an easy basket from inside the paint.

Briggs finished the night in Fairfax, Virginia with a double-double including 15 points and 12 rebounds. The junior is 102 points away from recording 1,000 total career points. Meanwhile, UF guard Kiki Smith tallied 19 points and six assists to push the near-comeback.

Florida’s next test is another road trip to take on the Texas Christian Hornfrogs (3-3) on Sunday. The meeting is set for a 2 p.m. from Fort Worth, Texas and you can catch the action on ESPN+.

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