When Funda Nakkasoglu missed a three-pointer with 9:27 remaining in the second quarter, forward Haley Lorenzen used her 6-foot-3 frame to snatch an offensive rebound. She dribbled, retreated a few steps, and nailed a jumper from the elbow to extend a lead Florida would never give up.
The Gators (4-3) used Tuesday night’s game against Jacksonville (4-3) as a means of reworking their offense on the way to a 69-59 win, their third in four games.
Lorenzen’s rebound and putback jumper in the second quarter was a sign of things to come. The senior ended the game with a double-double, scoring 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting while pulling down 11 rebounds. She recorded six of the Gators’ 18 offensive boards, which contributed to 26 second-chance points.
Gators coach Cameron Newbauer said his team knew Jacksonville would present issues for his players, like pressuring the perimeter to limit Florida’s three-point attempts.
Florida shot just 18 three-point field goals, its lowest mark of the year.
“You have to morph into whatever the defense is giving you,” Newbauer said. “You have to capitalize on that, and that’s what we did.”
Lorenzen, scoring all but one of her baskets from inside the arc, credited her teammates for helping her find easy buckets.
“We work on doing those post feeds every day,” Lorenzen said. “I think we did a great job of being versatile with our positions.”
The offensive outburst came right away for the Gators when they started the game on a 7-0 run. The lead remained within reach for Jacksonville heading into the third quarter off the strength of guards Brandi Buie and Naqaiyyah Teague's 5-of-11 combined shooting.
But UF pulled away in the second half, scoring the first eight points in the third quarter. Florida extended its lead to 22 after a Sydney Searcy three-pointer put the Gators up 48-26.
The Dolphins attempted to make it close in the late stages of the game, pulling within eight with just under a minute to go. Jacksonville utilized a full-court press that resulted in multiple turnovers for Florida.
But once again, the Gators' offensive rebounds were too much for Jacksonville to overcome, as Dyandria Anderson grabbed a Lorenzen miss and scored with 30 seconds left to increase UF's lead back to double digits.
Florida will have the rest of the week to practice and rest before traveling to Norman, Oklahoma, to face the Sooners on Sunday at 3 p.m.
You can follow Morgan McMullen on Twitter @MorganMcMuffin, and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida forward Haley Lorenzen recorded a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds in the Gators 69-59 win against Jacksonville on Tuesday.