Just five current players were on the roster the last time the Florida women’s basketball team won two games in a row.
That was back in January, when the Gators knocked off Arkansas and Ole Miss consecutively to earn their first SEC wins of the season. Almost a year later, fresh off its first victory of the season courtesy of an upset over Texas Tech, Florida (1-6) has an opportunity to start its first win streak in 315 days.
In-state rivals Bethune-Cookman make the trip to Gainesville tonight for a contest with Florida that tips off at 7. The matchup won’t be an easy one for the Gators, as the Wildcats are the defending MEAC regular season champions and feature guard Angel Golden, who averages 20 points per game and was last year’s MEAC Player of the Year.
“She’s one of those young ladies that they used to say on SportsCenter, ‘You can’t stop her, you can only hope to contain her.’ Big-time scorer,” Florida coach Cam Newbauer said of Golden, Bethune Cookman’s biggest threat. “You have to have good, solid team defense, you have to know where she is at all times, you have to find her early in transition, and you have to be smart.”
Outside of Golden, it’s been an up and down season for the Wildcats. They are 4-2 on the year, but were blown out at USF and lost at 2-5 Georgia Southern.
The Gators, of course, have their own player averaging 20 points per game: Guard Funda Nakkasoglu, who has been the story of the year for Florida and leads the SEC in scoring. Nakkasoglu finally got some help against Texas Tech, as the team set season highs in threes, rebounds and assists. In addition, the team’s three freshmen combined for 30 points. UF will need to get a similar team effort if it looks to carry its momentum into the BCU game.
“You have to take every success, every failure and continue to build and learn on it,” Newbauer said. “And I think that’s what our young ladies have done, and they’ve stayed the course and they’ve kept their head up and they’ve kept fighting.”
Follow Sam Campisano on Twitter @samcampisano or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At 20.1 points per game, UF guard Funda Nakkasoglu leads the SEC in scoring. She's also one of five UF players returning from last year's team that strung together two wins in January.