Aggies center Ciera Johnson scored an easy right-handed layup to open the scoring on the first possession of Monday night’s game at the O’Connell Center.
Texas A&M was in control the rest of the game.
The No. 21 Aggies (21-6, 10-4 SEC) led from that moment on en route to an 80-62 victory over Florida (6-21, 2-12 SEC), which had no answer for the clinical A&M offense.
“We talked a lot about not playing the scoreboard, just playing to get better and improve and stick with each other,” Florida’s coach Cam Newbauer said afterward.
Fans had just settled into their seats when Texas A&M raced out to a 15-3 lead within the first five minutes of the game. A timeout did little to change anything as the Aggies entered halftime with a 36-17 lead.
UF’s play did improve in the second half as it hit five of its first seven shots to force an A&M timeout. It didn’t matter, as the Aggies were in control for most of the second half.
The Gators shot an abysmal 6 of 30 from the floor in the first half before improving in the second to finish the game with a 34.4 field goal percentage. Texas A&M, on the other hand, shot 56.4 percent from the field.
Guard Delicia Washington – Florida’s second-leading scorer and leading rebounder – did not play at all because of an undisclosed team matter, according to Newbauer.
The result was a 44-24 rebounding advantage and 40 points in the paint for Texas A&M.
Newbauer didn’t say if Washington will be available for Thursday’s contest at home against Georgia.
In the absence of Washington, it was guard Funda Nakkasoglu – the team’s leading-scorer – who did the bulk of the scoring on Thursday night for the Gators. The Australian finished with 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. Guard Danielle Rainey was the only other Gator in double-digits with 17 points.
Guard Kayla Wells led the Aggies with 24 points. Two of her teammates, Johnson and fellow guard Chennedy Carter, with more than 20 points. Johnson also snagged 10 rebounds for a double-double.
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Guard Funda Nakkasoglu scored 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc in the Gators' 80-62 loss to Texas A&M on Monday.