As Funda Nakkasoglu missed a wide-open layup, she and teammate Haley Lorenzen shared a laugh. Her embarrassing miss didn’t matter, as the Gators (5-3) were just minutes away from sealing an 80-61 road victory over the Oklahoma Sooners (3-4).
“Our kids have worked hard for this,” coach Cameron Newbauer said after the win.
Redshirt junior guard Funda Nakkasoglu drove to the paint from the right side of the three-p…
Their hard work showed on Sunday afternoon at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
Senior guard Dyandria Anderson led all scorers with a career-high 29 points on 8-of-11 shooting while going 6-of-7 from behind the arc.
Her effort came just a few weeks after she notched a career-high 21 points against Stetson. With Sunday’s performance, Anderson topped her career high for the second time this season and has added a spark to Newbauer’s offense.
Nakkasoglu was clutch for the Gators as well, knocking down seven of her 15 shots during a 24-point effort.
The junior guard notched her fourth double-digit scoring effort in her first season as a Gator.
“I think our team fought tonight,” Newbauer said. “I’m just so grateful for our kids to have this opportunity to come out here and blessed that we got the W.”
After the game, Newbauer said he doesn’t consider the Gators to be a good defensive team. But on Sunday, Florida dominated the glass and disrupted the offensive flow of the Sooners. It outrebounded Oklahoma by 25 and forced the Sooners into difficult shots.
Oklahoma shot under 35 percent from the field as a result.
The Sooners’ leading scorer, senior center Vionise Pierre-Louis, recorded only four points on 1-of-8 shooting as well as three rebounds. Senior Gabbi Ortiz, who was averaging over 14 points per game for Oklahoma, didn’t score against Florida. The guard finished the game shooting 0-for-8 from the field, despite being on the court for all 40 minutes.
The Gators will now shift their focus toward No. 8 Ohio State for a mid-week matchup in the O’Connell Center. But for the time being, Newbauer and his Gators squad are going to take some time to soak in the win.
“It’s a completely different type of game because (Ohio State) can shoot it from the perimeter,” Newbauer said. “But we’re gonna enjoy this one tonight, get some ice cream and have fun and celebrate.”
A radio broadcast contributed to this report.
You can follow Justin Ahlum on Twitter @justinn_case1, and contact him at [email protected].