It was like watching a movie you’ve seen a thousand times before.
The Florida women’s basketball team goes on the road and guard Funda Nakkasoglu leads the team in scoring. The Gators spend the better part of 40 minutes launching the ball from beyond the arc, keeping the game close in the first half before turnovers and poor defense catch up to them in the second.
In what was a microcosm for this season, LSU (16-9, 7-6) defeated Florida 69-51 in Baton Rouge Thursday night, making it 12 losses in 12 games on the road for the Gators (6-19, 2-10) and eight out of nine losses overall.
The Tiger duo of forward Ayana Mitchell and center Faustine Aifuwa was too much for Florida to handle. The two Georgia natives combined for 42 points and 20 rebounds, with Aifuwa registering a double-double with career-highs in points (22) and rebounds (12).
Despite leading the team in scoring, it was an off night for Nakkasoglu. The senior scored just 11 points – the only Gator in double digits – and failed to hit a three-pointer for the first time in a month. The Florida offense struggled as a whole against the SEC’s top defense, going just 5-18 from downtown.
LSU also held a substantial advantage in the turnover department, committing just 11 to Florida’s 22. The Tigers also won the rebounding battle 40-29 and only allowed UF two shots from the free-throw line.
The Gators were very much in the game at halftime despite all these factors working against them. Buoyed by four of their five three-pointers, they trailed by just three points at the break. LSU, however, used a 13-2 run in the third quarter to pull away.
Florida will head back to the friendly confines of the O’Connell Center for its next two games before wrapping up the regular season with a visit to Vanderbilt on Sunday, March 3.
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Guard Funda Nakkasoglu scored 11 points in the Gators 51-69 loss to LSU.