The Gators fell to the California State Dominguez Hill Toros 69-85 Saturday, Feb. 2. The Lady Gators (8-12 overall and 7-8 in CCAA) have now lost five-straight games, with their last win coming on Jan. 12 against Sonoma State.
Senior guard Toni Edwards scored a career-high 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field. Senior Jhaina Stephens pitched in 20 points and 10 rebounds leading the way for San Francisco. The Gators jumped out to an early 7-3 advantage in the first quarter, but the Toros took the lead at the end of the first quarter 23-13 and never looked back.
By halftime, the Gators were in a 50-27 hole. They had committed 18 turnovers, compared to their meager three total assists.
“The communication was poor and nonexistent,” said SF State head coach Natasha Smith. “In transition, there were wide open layups because people didn’t know where they were supposed to be. It was a C- or D+ as far as communication.”
However, at the start of the third quarter, the Gators played with more intensity.
“Honestly I don’t remember,” said Coach Smith, when asked what was the message at halftime. “We were so locked into the moment. I was telling them that they’re the better team.”
With only five points entering the third quarter, Edwards played aggressively in the second half. She drove in the paint to either score or dished out passes to her teammates who had SF State in position to make a comeback. Edwards scored 14 of her 19 points in the second half.
“I just had to change my mindset,” said Edwards. “We were so down at halftime somebody had to do something. As a point guard, you’re a leader on the floor when times get tough.”
The Toros snatched 23 offensive rebounds which led to 26 second-chance points. The Gators also turned the ball over 24 times compared the Dominguez Hills’ 14.
Despite all the mistakes, the Gators were +7 in turnovers in the second half. They only turned over the ball six times and shot 40 percent in the second half.
The improved play in the second half could not overcome their mistakes from the first.
“We just have to have heart,” said Stephens.” The way we played in the second half, we have to do the whole 40 minutes. We have to remember if someone makes a layup or something, we have to be happy with each other. Everyone feeds off each other, so we have to bring it.”
San Francisco State will face Sonoma State, who they beat 67-56 on Jan 12, the team’s last win. The Gators will look to bring the second half energy into Thursday’s game.
“We have to play a whole 40 minutes,” said Stephens. “Starting Monday, we have to have our mindset right.”