Lady Gator Hoops lose in OT thriller 77-79

Despite the efforts of junior forward Bernice Mosby (Brooksville, Fla), who netted a team-high 20 points and game-high 17 rebounds, the University of Florida women's basketball team dropped a double-overtime thriller Tuesday afternoon to the undefeated Richmond Spiders, 79-77, at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

In the waning seconds of the second overtime period, Richmond guard Saona Champman lobbed the in-bound pass to a wide-open Kate Flavin under the basket for the final two points of her game-high 36, with only two seconds remaining. Florida senior guard Tishona Gregory (Romulus, Mich.) pushed the ball quickly up the floor, however time expired before she was able to attempt a game-winning shot.

"It was a great game, especially the second half," Florida head coach Carolyn Peck said. "Both teams came in extremely focused. Unfortunately, we had to dig ourselves out of a big hole we put ourselves into, but we didn't quit. We hunkered down and got a lot of contributions from a lot of different people. Kate Flavin is a remarkable player and we have to compliment her. I also have to compliment our team because down the stretch in regulation and in overtime we executed what we wanted to have happen. It's unfortunate that in a game like this somebody had to lose and I hate it for our team because they played so hard."

The game featured seven ties and four lead changes, was decided in the final seconds of the second overtime as the Gators (6-4) could not hold on after rallying from a five-point double-overtime deficit after overcoming a 13-point second-half hole.

In the first half the Gators jumped out to a nine-point lead at the 14:06 mark, however as the opening period continued, the Spiders chipped away at the Gators lead. Richmond (8-0) grabbed its first lead of the game with 5:10 to go in the first half and began to open a small lead that would increase to seven by the end of the first half, carrying a 36-24 lead into the locker room.

The Spiders opened the second half on the attack and extended their lead to 13 with 13:14 to go in regulation. However, the Gators responded much like the Spiders did in the first half. Slowly chipping away at the lead, the Gators used solid offensive performances by Mosby and Tamia Williams (West Palm Beach, Fla.), who netted 13 and 10 second-half points, respectively, to help the Gators overcome the 13-point deficit and tie the game at 62 apiece with 37 seconds remaining in regulation.

In the first overtime period the Gators struck first when senior Tashia Morehead (Panama City, Fla) connected on three of her 17 points just five seconds into the extra frame, canning a trey from the top of the arc. The Gators then took a five-point lead early in the overtime period after junior Brittany Davis (Gainesville, Fla.) backed in for a layup.

Richmond responded with two baskets from DeUnna Hendrix and a three-pointer from Chapman to take a 69-67 lead with 1:23 remaining in the first overtime period. Flavin added one free throw to give the Spiders a three-point lead with 42 seconds to go. However, Morehead struck again, nailing her second three-point basket of the overtime period to knot the game at 70.

In the final frame, Richmond struck first behind Flavin's efforts and built a five-point lead with 1:47 remaining. Davis cut into the Richmond lead as she converted on two free throw attempts and then after a Morehead rebound, Gregory knocked down a jumper to bring the Gators within one with 43 seconds to go.

Mosby was fouled with seven seconds remaining in the second overtime period. She missed the first free throw attempt, but converted the second to knot the game at 77.

Richmond then in-bounded the ball and pushed it up across half-court before calling timeout to set up for one final play, setting the stage for Flavin.

"Our team has nothing to hang their heads about as they executed everything we asked them to do down the stretch," Peck said. "Today our focus was right on target on what to do and they executed for each other."

The Gators take a short break for the holidays, but return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 29 when they play host to the 14th Annual State Farm Classic. Charlotte faces FAMU in the first game at 5 p.m., with Florida playing Boston University at 7:30 p.m. The championship and consolation games will be played Dec. 30 at the same times.

Fightin Gators Top Stories