The rainy weather dampened more than just the ground as the Gators lost their third conference game of the season, 38-46, to the Cal State East Bay Pioneers.
After scoring evenly in the first seven minutes of the game, the Gators began to lose their initial four-point lead near the middle of the first period, as the Pioneers slowly began to pull away with the lead.
Head coach Joaquin Wallace said the team had the hardest time scoring points against the Pioneers.
“We just missed shots under the basket,” Wallace said. “Against a team like that, that’s giving you opportunities to score, you gotta be (able) to score, and you can’t shoot 52 percent from the free throw line at home.”
Although the Gators led the game with 51 rebounds compared to the Pioneer’s 39 rebounds, the statistics show that the Gators suffered most while scoring, ending the game with a 22.2 field goal percentage while the Pioneers had a 38.5 field goal percentage.
The Gators were able to keep the score relatively close, thanks to point contributions made by sophomore forward Farrah Shokoor and senior guard Nicole Hicks, who scored 18 and 15 points respectively.
Senior guard Michaela Booker said the team lacked the chemistry needed on the court to win the game.
“I think we all like each other, we all enjoy being around each other, but I feel like, as a team, sometimes we don’t play together all the time,” she said. “That’s where we struggle and we become individualistic so if we just start playing as a team we’ll be better – our chemistry will be better.”
The Pioneers led the game by 19 points by the middle of the second half, but with four possession-stealing plays, the Gators closed the point deficit to 10 points in just two minutes.
Hicks said the best thing to prepare for Saturday’s game against the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters is to move forward.
“We need to just put this loss behind us and just move forward from here, start winning games (and) just learn from our mistakes,” she said.
The Gators face-off against the Otters in their last home game before the semester ends at 5:30 p.m. in The Swamp.