Last year it took the Gators 24 games to get a win, this year it only took three. The women’s basketball team ended a two game skid tonight and improved their record to 1-2 with a 67-63 win over Notre Dame de Namur University.
“Just feels good to win,” said head coach Dennis Cox. “We really struggled to get our first win [last year], to get it a little earlier this year is really nice.”
One remedy to curing a losing streak is to score more points, and that’s exactly what the Gators did, putting up a season high 67 points after two dismal outings against Concordia University and Central Washington.
After shooting only 20 percent from the field in their first two games, SF State doubled that percentage and shot at an efficient 40 percent clip from the field, with a majority of those points coming from their big three.
Naila Washington led all scorers tonight with a season high 17 points, shooting 8-12 from the field. Not far behind Washington were forwards Laura Lawson and Trayona Thomas, who scored 16 and 15 points respectively.
“We worked a lot better tonight on the offensive side,” Lawson said. “These last two games we weren’t really clicking together.”
Most of the points came in the paint, where the Gators dominated tonight. Every entry pass to the middle was almost a guaranteed two points, as evidenced by the team’s 20 assists.
“The middle was open,” Cox said. “They pretty much let us get it there whenever we wanted, I felt we could have got it there even more.”
The Gators almost let the win slip away with sloppy play midway through the fourth quarter. Trailing 57-49 with seven minutes remaining, Notre Dame’s Arianna Cunha and Kirsten Liana both hit three pointers to cut the lead to 5.
Lawson responded for the Gators with a quick two point tip in, but Notre Dame again chopped the lead down to one with only four minutes remaining.
Starring at a potential three-game losing streak to start the season, the Gators rallied and closed the game out with solid free throw shooting after Notre Dame tried fouling to stop the clock.
Neither team could muster a run in the first quarter, when they rapidly traded buckets and the lead. Three minutes into the second quarter the game was tied at 24 and the Gators went on a 12-6 run to end the half leading 36-30.
The Gators opened up the game at the beginning of the second period with the score tied at 24 and went on a 12-6 run to end the half. They kept a solid lead throughout the second half until midway through the fourth quarter.