PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Less than 24 hours after having its best shooting percentage performance of the season, Florida charted its worst accuracy mark of the year in a 56-50 loss to Brown on Sunday in the final game of the Brown BEAR Basketball Classic hosted by Brown University at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
The Gators (7-2) shot only 30.6 percent during the game and had their five-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt, as Brown (3-6) snapped a four-game skid. Florida defeated Providence on Saturday behind a 49.1 percent shooting effort.
Brown ripped off a 13-7 run behind a trio of three-pointers to begin the second half and extended their one-point halftime lead to seven, 35-28, with 15:19 remaining in the game and never trailed again.
Deaundra Young (Titusville, Fla.) began to assert herself in the paint and put back two offensive rebounds to cut the deficit to three, 35-32 with just under 13 minutes left.
Lauren Clarke prevented Florida from getting three consecutive scores and knocked down a jumper, before Brown collected a free throw and built its lead back to six, 38-32 with 9:14 to play.
Azania Stewart (Wood Green, England) tried to get Florida rolling by completing a three-point play, but Sheila Dixon equaled the points by nailing her third three-pointer of the half. One more free throw extended Brown’s lead to seven, 42-35.
Lanita Bartley (Jacksonville, Fla.) drove hard for a layup and Ndidi Madu (Antioch, Tenn.) followed with a four-footer from the side and cut the deficit to three, 42-39, with 7:13 remaining.
The Bears had their confidence flowing from beyond the arc and Lindsay Nickel stepped up and nailed the team’s seventh trey of the game. Two free throws lift BU’s lead to eight points, its largest of the contest.
Madu traded points with Brown on the next two trips, with Young stepping up for her 10th point of the game with 3:09 remaining.
Every time Florida scored, Brown answered and trend continued for the remainder of the game.
Madu charted her second consecutive double-double, collecting 14 points with a career-high 11 rebounds, while Young tallied the first double-dip of her career with 10 points and 10 rebounds along with three blocked shots for Florida, which held a 50-34 rebounding advantage.
Florida, which actually made three more field goals in the game, sank just 4-of-28 three-pointers (14.3%) and found its way to the free throw line only three times.
Brown hit 39.6 percent overall, hitting seven three-pointers and connecting on 11-of-18 free throws. Sheila Dixon led all scorers with 15 points with seven rebounds, while Lindsay Nickel contributed 14 points and seven rebounds.
Florida has little time to recover, as the team returns to action on Tuesday, when the Gators play host to Harvard in the O’Connell Center beginning at 7 p.m. The radio broadcast can be heard live in Gainesville on WBBXY-FM 99.5 “The Star”, and airs live and free through the internet via www.GatorZone.com, while the video of the game will be available through GatorVision.tv.
Neither team could get into a flow in the first half and that benefitted the Bears, as Florida shot just 26.5 percent (9-34), including a 2-of-13 three-point showing.
Florida jumped out to a 5-0 lead with an inside bucket from Azania Stewart and a three-pointer from Jordan Jones and was seemingly in the shooting zone from last night when the Gators shot a season-high 49 percent from the field against Providence.
The teams exchanged baskets for the next few minutes before Brown connected on consecutive possessions and cut the deficit to one with 13:50 left in the half.
Florida came right back with inside shots from Jennifer George (Orlando, Fla.) and Ndidi Madu, before the Bears ripped off a 7-1 run and took their first lead of the game, 16-15, with 3:53 on the clock.
The teams again traded scores for the rest of the half, with Brown getting the final field goal with 1:54 remaining and took a 22-21 halftime lead.
The Gators, who were held scoreless for the final 2:11 of the half, turned the ball over 12 times during the first 20 minutes, as Butler pleaded with her team to pick up the pace.
Ten Gators saw action during the first half, yet none were able to score more than four points.
The Bears hit 34.6 percent of their shots, also connecting on nine field goals and two three-pointers, with the scoring difference coming at the free throw line, where Brown was 2-of-4 and Florida 1-of-2.