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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Gators unable to overcome shooting troubles in Ann Arbor

<p>Senior Jennifer George poses for photos during UF Media Day on Oct. 10. George racked up 15 points and nine rebounds in a losing effort against Michigan on Saturday.</p>

Senior Jennifer George poses for photos during UF Media Day on Oct. 10. George racked up 15 points and nine rebounds in a losing effort against Michigan on Saturday.

Despite 15 points and nine rebounds from senior Jennifer George — a redemption game for her after struggling in a loss to Michigan last season — woeful shooting cost the Gators their second consecutive game.

Shooting a season-low 30.3 percent from the field, Florida (5-3) lost 59-53 to Michigan (6-2) in the Crisler Center on Saturday.

“We were a little too slow and a little too stagnant [on offense],” coach Amanda Butler said. “We didn’t have as much fight as we needed to on the low block. We have a lot to look at on film from this one and correct before we play again.”

Though Butler felt the team lacked fight inside, it was clear the largest absence was an ability to make shots from the field.

Florida took a 32-27 lead into halftime but made just eight of its 37 shots in the second half. The 21.6-percent clip in the final 20 minutes was enough to evaporate UF’s early lead.

“We’ve just got to put it in the basket,” assistant David Lowery said. “We’re right there at the rim. We talk about that every day.”

Also troubling for Lowery was Florida’s performance on the defensive end of the floor.

The Gators let offensive setbacks affect them defensively as well, Lowery said.

Following a made three-pointer by Lily Svete to open the second half — UF shot just 4 for 23 from behind the arc in the game — Michigan reeled off 10 consecutive points as part of a 22-7 run.

During the 10-minute stretch, Michigan went from trailing by eight to leading by seven. The Gators simply did not have enough offense to make a serious run and get back in the game.

“We have some defensive miscues that totally just gives them momentum,” Lowery said. “A team like [Michigan] that shoots the ball that well from three, it’s something that you can not do. We harped on that the whole week.”

Kate Thompson led all scorers with 21 points for Michigan. Thompson connected on three of her seven attempts from behind the arc in 31 minutes.

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“We just have to have more pride in our defense,” George said. “Nothing is going to change unless our defense changes.”

Senior Jennifer George poses for photos during UF Media Day on Oct. 10. George racked up 15 points and nine rebounds in a losing effort against Michigan on Saturday.

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