Poor shooting dooms UF women at Michigan
Published: Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 8:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 8:41 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Senior Jennifer George scored 15 points with nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough for Florida to overcome a woeful second-half shooting effort in a 59-53 loss at Michigan at the Crisler Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Gators (5-3), who dropped their second consecutive game, connected on just 21.6 percent (8-of-37) from the floor during the final 20 minutes and a season-low 30.3 percent (20-of-66) overall.
A high percentage of Michigan's shot attempts came with 10 or fewer seconds on the shot clock.
“That’s typically how they play,” UF head coach Amanda Butler said about Michigan’s offensive attack. “They like a low possession ball game, and we didn’t do a good job defensively of maintaining our focus. I felt like we would put a lot of pressure on them and then we would have a breakdown with 10 seconds left. It’s got to be the other way around. Those last 10 seconds, your defense needs to get tighter and sharper.”
After Lily Svete nailed a 3-pointer in the opening seconds of the second half, Michigan (6-2) ripped off 10 consecutive points and sparked a 22-7 run that reversed a 35-27 Gator lead into a 49-42 Wolverine advantage over a 10-minute span.
The Gators finally scored on consecutive possessions when Carlie Needles dropped in a layup off a Christin Mercer steal and Jennifer George put in an offensive rebound and cut Florida’s deficit to three points, 49-46, with 7:54 remaining. Michigan came right back with the next four points of the game and increased its lead back to seven, 53-48, with 2:31 remaining in the game.
Svete buried a 3-pointer from the left corner and had UF within four points with 2:18 on the clock, but the Wolverines made good on their trips to the free throw line, where they made 4-of-6 the rest of the way to close out the win.
Kate Thompson led all scorers with 21 points for Michigan, which hit 42.9 percent (21-of-49) during the game, including 47.6 percent (10-of-21) in the deciding second half.
“Even though we held them in the 50s, I didn’t feel like we had great defensive energy,” Butler said. “That effort trickled over into our offense and we were a little too slow and a little too stagnant. We didn’t have as much fight as we needed to on the low block. We have a lot to look at on film from this one and correct before we play again.”
Florida returns to action on Tuesday, when the Gators play host to Troy in the O’Connell Center beginning at 7 p.m. Florida’s appearance in the O’Connell Center will be the team’s first since defeating North Florida on Nov. 19.