Florida jumped to a three-point lead in the first 60 seconds of play. For the next 38 minutes, the Gators wouldn’t find any comfort from the scoreboard.
By the time the second half was drawing to a close, the excitement in the O’Connell Center had all but faded.
The dull roar by the two-minute mark was largely due to the fact that the Gators trailed the Ole Miss Rebels for all but that first minute of the contest. Coming off of two straight losses against No. 9 Tennessee and No. 19 South Carolina, Florida was expected to deliver at home in what was supposed to be an SEC mismatch.
Led by acting head coach Brett Frank, Ole Miss had other ideas. They came away with an 88-81 win.
“I feel like it’s on everybody. At this point, I feel like we are lacking energy, people are doing their own thing and there isn’t any determination… this is three losses in a row on our home court,” said Florida point guard Jaterra Bonds.
For the Gators, their third straight home loss counted as the Rebels’ lone win in an SEC contest up until this point in the season. They had previously held an 0-5 mark in conference games.
Florida now stands at 2-4 in the conference.
Although the Gators scored more points off of turnovers and fared better in the paint, the loss can still easily be found in the numbers. Compared to 68.8 percent shooting from behind the three point line by Ole Miss, Florida posted just three successful shots out of fourteen attempts in the same category.
One of the Gators’ only highlights in the game came in the form of 10-16 shooting from Florida forward Kayla Lewis. She ended the game with a team-leading 23 points.
Still, for a Gators team that started the season 11-3, the ball doesn’t seem to be falling in the basket quite as easily in the last few matches. Sporting a meager 35.9 percent shooting in this most recent loss certainly won’t do much to help Florida’s momentum as they enter a tough stretch of SEC contests in the coming weeks.
Said Florida Head Coach Amanda Butler: “We clearly have a lot of things that we have to correct and have to grow up a lot. It’s a very tough league and I’ve said this from the beginning, there are no bad teams. If you’re not ready to play, you’re going to lose.”