After receiving an inbound pass at the top of the key, Florida forward Paulina Hersler pulled up with five seconds left in the fourth quarter. Down by two, Hersler missed a shot to the right of the rim, but guard Dyandria Anderson pulled down an offensive rebound and scored a layup with less than one second remaining to send the game to overtime.
It was the highlight play in UF’s regulation comeback against Ole Miss on Sunday, but the Gators (8-8, 0-3 SEC) would ultimately come up short against the Rebels, losing 78-75 in double overtime in Oxford.
Florida forward Haley Lorenzen called for the ball with just over five minutes left in the game. After setting a screen for a streaking teamma…
Toward the end of the first half, Ole Miss (11-5, 1-2 SEC) held a double-digit lead over UF, flustering the Gators’ offensive attack. The Rebels limited Florida to 33.3 percent shooting from the field in the game’s first 20 minutes and held it to only 21 points.
Turnovers also played a big role in the Gators poor start. Florida recorded nine giveaways in the first quarter, paving the way for the Rebels to score 12 points off UF’s mishaps.
“We need more out of our upperclassmen, playing with the ball, handling pressure, being aggressive,” UF coach Cameron Newbauer said in a release.
The second half, however, was a different story. The Gators’ offense improved its efficiency, making 43.2 percent of its shots, and the team’s defense made stops when it needed to, limiting the Rebels to eight points in the final 4:27 of regulation. The comeback effort, capped off by Anderson’s game-tying score, sent the contest to overtime.
In the two additional periods, Florida and Ole Miss went back and forth. Neither team led by more than three points, and both teams held a lead at least once in each overtime.
UF was leading by two points with four seconds left in the first overtime when Rebels guard Alissa Alston drove down the right side of the paint and beat the buzzer to tie the game. In the second overtime, Gators forward Haley Lorenzen missed a game-tying three-pointer as time expired to seal Florida’s third straight loss.
Lorenzen led the team with 19 points and 10 rebounds, notching her eighth double-double of the season. UF’s leading scorer Funda Nakkasoglu also punched in another double-digit scoring outing with 18 points.
“We weren’t ready out of the gate for some reason but battled back,” Newbauer said. “It’s tough to swallow this one when you fight back so hard and have some really good moments here and there.”
A story from floridagators.com contributed to this report.