With just over a minute left in the fourth quarter and the Florida women’s basketball team down by one possession, Texas A&M had the ball. From the right wing, freshman Chennedy Carter pulled up from three and watched as her shot fell through the basket.
Carter’s three-pointer gave the No. 17 Aggies a six-point lead late in their 85-80 victory Thursday night over the Gators (10-16, 2-11 SEC) in College Station.
The accumulation of fouls and untimely turnovers in the fourth quarter cost Florida the ballgame as it dropped its sixth consecutive game against ranked SEC opponents. UF committed turnovers on five consecutive possessions midway through the final quarter, squandering any chance of increasing its lead.
Those mishaps proved to be costly for Florida. What could have been a swing in points turned into a momentum shift later in the quarter, as the Aggies seized the lead with 3:51 left and never gave it up.
In addition to those mistakes, Florida couldn’t withstand the wrath of the Aggies’ breakout freshman. Carter scored a game-high 28 points on 12-of-22 shooting. She also grabbed six rebounds in 40 minutes of play.
It was the 15th time Carter scored more than 20 points in a game this season.
Forward Anriel Howard added 21 points, shooting 50 percent from the field and making 6-of-8 shots from the charity stripe.
The Aggies (20-7, 9-4 SEC) took advantage of their opportunities at the line as well. Florida committed 16 fouls during Thursday’s matchup, allowing Texas A&M to make 20-of-24 attempts from the free throw line, including 3 of 4 in the final 10 seconds of play.
But Florida wasn’t an easy out for the Aggies. The Gators played their opponent tough once again, holding a seven-point lead at one point in the fourth quarter.
UF forward Haley Lorenzen had 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting and collected seven rebounds for Florida.
However, the Gators veteran struggled down the stretch, missing her last five shots after starting out 10 of 11 from the field.
Guard Funda Nakkasoglu continued to be a key factor for the Gators as well. The junior led the team with 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting and nailed over half of her three-point attempts. She also took command of the offense in this game, dishing out five assists to her Gators teammates.
UF also took advantage of its success from behind the arc.
The Gators shot 13 of 29 from downtown, with every starter except Lorenzen making two or more of their threes.
UF will finally take a break from ranked opponents when the team comes home for Senior Day on Sunday. Florida will host Vanderbilt in what will be the second-to-last home game for Lorenzen, Dyandria Anderson and Paulina Hersler.