It's only seven games into the season, but a disturbing trend has emerged for the UF women's basketball team.
The Gators (4-3) have a habit of fading down the stretch on the road.
UF will look to pick up its first win away from home when it travels to Louisville on Sunday at 2 p.m. after disappointing losses at Nebraska and Jacksonville.
The Cornhuskers thrashed them 90-63 on Nov. 17 and the Dolphins followed it up with an 11-point win Wednesday.
Players and coaches cited the mental aspect of the game as the culprit for the lack of success on the road.
In both games, the Gators allowed their opponents to go on game-changing runs and seemed helpless to stop them.
Against the Cornhuskers, UF closed the gap to 38-34 early in the second half, but then allowed Nebraska to score 9 straight points, later followed by a 22-4 run that put the game out of reach.
Jacksonville broke a tie with 6:13 left by pouring in 8 points in a row, and the Gators never recovered from that, either.
BWe?ve got to just stay composed when things aren?t going our way,C senior guard Depree Bowden said after Wednesday?s loss. BThat?s the biggest part of it.C
Bowden, the lone senior on the team, had similar comments after the Nebraska game.
As of Wednesday night, she had no idea what to do to change things before facing the Cardinals this weekend.
BI?m not sure,C Bowden said. BWe?ve got to figure it out by Sunday. I know that. Louisville is a good team, and we need to figure it out before that.C
UF coach Amanda Butler said she hates to use clichés, but she couldn?t help but fall back on them to describe her team?s mental focus.
BWe?ve just got to be willing to sacrifice, we?ve got to be willing to play through adversity, we?ve got to be willing to do what it takes,C she said. BIt doesn?t necessarily have to do with score more points, get more rebounds, make offensive change. We?ve got the tools to be a very good ballclub. It?s the intangibles that come and go for us right now.C
BITTERSWEET RETURN: Jennifer Mossor saw playing time for the first time this season Wednesday night against Jacksonville after missing the first six games due to injury.
The sophomore guard broke her left (non-shooting) pinky Oct. 27.
BIt felt really good (to be back), but wish we could?ve come back and won,C she said. BI?ve just got to get back in the swing of things. I know it?s going to take time, but I?m ready for the challenge.C
Mossor checked into the game at the 14:01 mark in the first half and scored 6 points in 16 minutes.
Mossor shot just 1 of 5 from the field, including 0 of 4 from behind the 3-point line. The injury didn?t seem to affect her play, as the sophomore drove to the basket on many occasions.
Mossor said after the game that the splint she wears on her left hand isn?t affecting her shot, but it does make dribbling with her left hand a bit more interesting.
BIt feels really weird because I?m pretty much working with three fingers,C she said. BI?m going to make it work for the time being.C