It has been a rough past couple of weeks for Florida’s women’s basketball team.
The Gators have been outscored by an average of 20.6 points per game since Jan. 25, losing all five games they’ve played over that span.
The team’s recent defeats have propelled it to the bottom of the conference standings with a 2-10 SEC record, putting it in a tie for 12th place.
However, despite UF’s struggles in 2017-18, coach Cameron Newbauer has seen potential in his players, especially during Sunday’s seven-point road loss to No. 7 South Carolina.
“Tremendous effort for us to come into this environment on the road,” he said. “I thought we did a terrific job in making them uncomfortable.”
Florida kept the score close against the Gamecocks throughout the majority of the contest, trailing by only four points with the less than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
But the Gators — just like they did against Georgia and Missouri during their current five-game losing streak — failed to close the door on their SEC opponent.
A late offensive outburst from South Carolina helped it pull away for an eventual 64-57 win at Colonial Life Arena.
Despite the losses, Newbauer isn’t deterred.
“They’ve bought into just being the best we can every moment and not playing the scoreboard,” Newbauer said. “It’s what makes this group so much fun to coach because home or away, they’re gonna fight.”
Forward Haley Lorenzen, who had 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting against the Gamecocks, agrees with her coach. The senior continuously talks about her pride for how far her teammates have come this year.
“I think, for us, we welcome it because we know we’re getting better,” Lorenzen said on Thursday. “We know that, in the end, this program and us as a team is gonna be better for it.”
The Gators will carry that sense of pride into their sixth straight game against a ranked SEC opponent on Thursday when they travel to College Station to take on No. 17 Texas A&M.
“Every day is a challenge, and our team has taken it that way,” Newbauer said. “The Southeastern Conference is the best conference in the country. I’m just blessed to be apart of it and get to have an opportunity to make Florida better.”
Follow Justin Ahlum on Twitter @justinn_case1 and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coach Cameron Newbauer said even with mounting loses, he's happy with the mentality of his team. “They’ve bought into just being the best we can every moment and not playing the scoreboard,” he said.