Florida Gators' women's basketball team bounced from WNIT after loss to Bowling Green

Ainslie Lee
The Gainesville Sun

The Florida Gators women's basketball team boasted a three-point lead over Bowling Green as both teams returned to the locker room for halftime of Monday night's WNIT quarterfinal matchup in Bowling Green, Ohio.

The Gators had lost two games all season when leading at halftime. That number, however, would be extended to three as the Falcons dominated the second half to end Florida's season in the WNIT Great 8, 69-52.

Bowling Green outscored Florida 41-21 in the second half at the Stroh Center.

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Here are 3 takeaways.

Gators lose turnover battle in sloppy slugfest

Monday's WNIT quarterfinal wasn't a clean game for either program as turnovers began to mount early.

At the start, it was Florida controlling the turnover margin as the Gators forced 10 steals in the first half and the Falcons coughed up the basketball 12 times. The latter stood as a glaring issue for the Falcons, who came into the night averaging 12.8 turnovers per game. Meanwhile, the Gators committed nine turnovers in the first half.

In the second half, while the Falcons seemingly cleaned up their game committing only four second-half turnovers, the Gators began to unravel. Florida committed 13 turnovers as Bowling Green tallied six steals in the final two quarters.

And as if losing the turnover battle wasn't bad enough, the Gators also watched as the Falcons converted turnovers into points. Bowling Green finished with 18 points off of turnovers, while Florida finished with 13.

Shots stop falling for Florida

In their two games leading up to their Great 8 matchup with the Falcons, the Gators had been red hot from beyond the three-point line. In its wins over Wake Forest and Clemson, Florida combined for 25 three pointers.

It looked as though that trend would continue as senior KK Deans notched a pair of treys early in the contest, just like she'd done against the Tigers last week. However, Deans and the Gators would eventually fall cold as they finished 7-for-21 from beyond the arc against the Falcons.

Making matters worse was the fact that Florida didn't just struggle from beyond the arc, but from just about everywhere on the floor.

The Gators were good 35.8% of the time Monday night − a mark vastly different than in the three tournament games leading up to the quarterfinal when Florida shot at a mark better than 44% in each.

Only one Florida player finished in double figures as senior Leilani Correa led all scorers with 20 points. Meanwhile, junior Jordyn Merritt was an eyelash away from a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Florida veteran Nina Rickards, who averaged 12.1 points per game coming into the night, chipped in three points in her final game − a performance that was heavily impacted by early foul trouble.

Florida lacks on offensive glass

The Gators' presence on the offensive boards left plenty to be desired.

Bowling Green outrebounded Florida 47-35, with the biggest difference on the offensive side. The Falcons grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, while the Gators managed to get their hands on seven.

And just the like in the turnover battle, Bowling Green was able to translate their offensive boards into second-chance points as the Falcons finished the night with 16 second-chance points to the Gators' six.