With two and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter, Florida’s women’s basketball team emptied its bench.
Four freshmen saw playing time in the game’s final moments, finishing up UF’s regular season finale with a whimper as Georgia sealed a 63-43 victory over the Gators in Athens, Georgia, on Sunday afternoon.
UF (11-18, 3-13 SEC) failed to score more than 50 points for the second consecutive game, had two quarters in which it scored fewer than 10 points and had only one player score in double-digits.
“They just outplayed us in every aspect of the game,” coach Cameron Newbauer said. “We’re going to turn the page, move on. They are a good team that had a good year.”
Florida shot under 28 percent from the field (15-of-54) and turned the ball over 15 times. It also gave up 14 offensive rebounds on Sunday, which contributed to 12 second-chance points for the Bulldogs.
Guard Nakkasoglu scored 10 points and shot 3-of-9 from the field. Delicia Washington, who missed Thursday’s game with a left ankle injury, came back to the starting lineup.
Her impact was crucial in the first half, as she kept Florida in the game going into the break. Washington made her first three shots and scored eight points through two quarters. But the sophomore seemed to struggle with her ankle in the latter part of the game. Midway through the third quarter, Washington limped off the floor and to the Gators’ bench.
She did come back in the game but finished 3-of-7 and failed to score a point in the final 20 minutes.
As for Georgia (24-5, 12-4 SEC), the Bulldogs took advantage of a depleted UF team. Four players scored in double figures, and eight Bulldogs knocked down a field goal on Sunday.
Mackenzie Engram had 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting and was a rebound shy of a double-double.
“We tried to make adjustments (throughout the game),” Newbauer said. “But weren’t successful at it, so we’ve just got to turn the page on this and move on.”
Florida will now turn its attention to the SEC Tournament. It is the No. 11 seed in the bracket and will face No. 14 Ole Miss on Wednesday afternoon.
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Guard Funda Nakkasoglu scored 22 points in Florida's 60-58 loss to Gardner-Webb. She shot the potential game-winning three with second remaining, but was off the mark.