Halfway through the third quarter, Florida’s women’s basketball team felt momentum shifting in its favor.
After trailing by as much as 17 points at the beginning of the frame, a series of baskets from guard Paulina Hersler and forward Haley Lorenzen reduced the Gators deficit down to six.
But following a timeout and an ensuing 12-2 run from No. 12 Ohio State, not much went right for UF the rest of the contest.
The Buckeyes defeated Florida 103-77 on Wednesday night at the O’Connell Center.
OSU (9-2) took control of the game early. Guard Kelsey Mitchell had 15 points in the first 10 minutes of action, helping the Buckeyes take an quick 31-18 lead.
“We started off the game kind of shell-shocked,” coach Cameron Newbauer said. “I don’t think you can fully understand what (Mitchell) can do until you’re on the court with her.”
In the second and third quarters, Florida (5-4) bounced back, cutting the Ohio State’s lead to six off a four-point play from Hersler. But seven turnovers from UF in the fourth gave the Buckeyes their ninth win of the season.
“Selfish basketball," Newbauer said. "It really bit us in the tail and then the wheels kind of fell off.”
Guard Funda Nakkasoglu facilitated the Gators’ offense, scoring 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting as well as dishing out six assists. But the junior had five turnovers, tied for the most with guard Delicia Washington.
“I don’t really focus on (stats),” Nakkasoglu said. “I’m just focused on what I can do for my teammates.”
For OSU, Mitchell finished the game with 30 points on 12-of-22 shooting. She also became the Buckeyes all-time leading scorer in the first quarter.
Ohio State had five players score in double figures and only turned the ball over 10 times.
Sierra Calhoun added 21 points and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.
Up next for the Gators is a matchup with the Marshall Herd (2-5) on Sunday at the O’Connell Center.