Womens basketball comes up short, 81-75, to Florida in the Gator Holiday Classic championship game

Women's basketball came up just short against Florida as it couldn't keep up on the boards or from the field in a 81-75 loss.

The Gators out-rebounded the Chippewas 39-32 as they shot 55.4 percent from the field to defend their Gator Holiday Classic title.

It was a 34-25 Florida lead at the half and head coach Sue Guevara said the team's lack of scoring proved troubling in the first half.

“We dug ourselves a hole and it was tough to get out,” she said. “We really struggled to score in the first half. Florida did a good job of shutting us down.”

The key for the Chippewas in the second half was missed free throws down the stretch. The Gators shot 13-of-19 from the line while CMU was 14-of-23.

Guevara said she wants to see more consistent play in key game situations.

“We just have to find more consistency out of some of our individual players,” she said. “I can’t fault them for their effort tonight."

After a layup from junior forward Taylor Johnson at the 12:39 mark in the second half, the Chippewas made it a three-point deficit (49-46), the closest they would get in the second half.

Florida’s largest lead was at the 5:02 mark in the second half as the lead was at 16 for the Gators. CMU fought back toward the end of the game going on a 12-5 run making it a 78-72 game.

Guevara liked how her team fought down the stretch despite the deficit.

“They battled and worked but give Florida credit," she said. "They were pressuring us all over the floor and we stuck with them. Once we went to a full court press we began to force them into turnovers and cut into the lead."

Senior forward Jessica Schroll had another great night in only her second game as a Chippewa. She led the team with 15 points. Sophomore forward Jas’Mine Bracey had eight points while sophomore guard Crystal Bradford had 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Five players scored in double figures for CMU.

Sophomore guard Kayla Lewis led the Gators in scoring with 18 points and rebounding with 10 boards.

“ We have the next three days off before heading out to California,” Guevara said. “We need to work on finding more consistency during key moments in the game.”

Next week CMU will head out to San Diego, Calif. for the Maggie Dixon Surf and Slam. They will play San Diego at 9 p.m. on Dec. 28 and then will face either Texas or Iowa on Dec. 30.


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