FINAL: OHIO STATE 103, FLORIDA 77
GAINESVILLE, FL- The Florida Gators had a signature victory against Oklahoma on Sunday and were hoping to use some of that positive momentum against #12 Ohio State on Wednesday. The Buckeyes however, proved to be too much for a team still developing an identity offensively and defensively.
From the opening tip it was clear who was the better team. Ohio State raced out to a 10-0 start, after which Florida coach Cameron Newbauer described his team as “shellshocked.” Ohio State led 31-18 by the end of the first quarter. The Buckeyes extended their lead to twenty with less than three minutes remaining in the half, but a 9-2 run by the Gators to end the half left Ohio State with a thirteen point margin at the intermission.
After a mini 6-3 run by the Buckeyes to open the second half, Florida erupted for a 14-3 run of their own over a nearly three minute span. The run moved Florida within six points of Ohio State. Unfortunately, it never got any closer. Ohio State would score the next five points, and finish the third quarter on a 16-5 run. Ohio State would cruise in the fourth quarter and still outscore the Gators 27-18 for the period despite letting their starters sit for much of the quarter with the game well in hand.
Newbauer explained the second half collapse on ‘selfish’ basketball, stating, “We did a great job of fighting back, then we got selfish. We got away from who we are and what we do.”
Newbauer also expressed adoration for Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell (pictured above), who set the OSU career scoring mark in the first quarter, “(she’s) an explosive scorer.”
Haley Lorenzen finished the night with a double-double, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Both of those numbers led Florida for the night. Funda Nakkasoglu finished with 16 points while Paulina Hersler and Delicia Washington each finished with 14.
While Florida’s transition defense was suspect, allowing 20 fast break points, there were a lot of positives to build upon. Florida outrebounded Ohio State by nine boards, and finished plus-seven on the offensive glass. The Gators hit on eighty percent of their free throws, and, as Nakkasoglu said after the game, “when we run our plays, they obviously work.”
The Gators fell to 5-4 on the season with the loss, but will look to rebound on Sunday when Florida faces Marshall at Exactech Arena.
Florida will take on the Marshall Thundering Herd on Sunday inside Exactech Arena. The Herd is 2-5 on the season heading into their Wednesday matchup against Morgan State. On Saturday, Marshall was dropped by Southern Illinois 64-59 at home.
Florida vs Marshall
December 10, 2017
1:00 PM / Exactech Arena