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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Poor shooting dooms women's basketball team against St. John's

Boasting a taller starting lineup than the Gators, St. John’s presented a post-game threat that took a toll and manifested itself in a 61-47 win over UF on Friday in U.S. Century Bank Arena in Miami.

The Gators (2-3) struggled against the Red Storm’s (4-0) inside game and watched three players score in double digits.

Forward Da’Shena Stevens scored 14 points to go along with a game-high 11 rebounds, fellow forward Joy McCorvey chipped in 12 points and freshman Shenneika Smith, a 6-foot-1 guard, was the game’s leading scorer with 17 points.

The physical play of the Red Storm was evident in the lopsided amount of free throws each team took — Florida’s zone defense was pierced with players’ dribble penetration.

St. John’s attempted 20 shots from the charity stripe and converted on 15 of them. By comparison, the Gators only attempted six free-throw shots and drained four.

The difference in post-game advantage was also evident in rebounds with St. John’s gaining a 45-33 advantage.

“We got killed on the boards,” coach Amanda Butler said in her post-game radio interview. “You’re not going to beat a good team when you get crushed on the boards and you don’t hit shots when you’re open.”

Coming off a game against UAB on Tuesday where shots fell, the Gators were back to struggling from the field.

“We didn’t put the ball in the hole,” Butler said. “We had some good looks and just didn’t convert them. You just can’t afford, against a good team, to have a high-percentage shot and not put it in the hole.”

UF took the lead with an early 11-0 run, managed to hit 3 of 5 from 3-point range at first, and had a 21-12 lead with 10:56 remaining. The Red Storm wouldn’t fold so easily and demonstrated resiliency in mounting a 15-2 run.

Going into halftime tied at 30, the two teams tussled to begin the second half.

St. John’s took advantage of a decisive offensive drought on the Gators’ part that lasted more than 10 minutes and went on a 14-0 run that put the game out of hand.

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“The effort was there,” Butler said. “But when you’re playing a good team, you have to have results too.”

The Gators will stay the weekend in Miami and play Sunday against FIU (2-3) in the consolation game of the FIU Thanksgiving Classic.

“There’s no time to cry, or you go home with two losses,” Butler said.

A radio broadcast contributed to this report.

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