Women’s basketball: Dayton’s three-game winning streak ends with loss at Florida

Makira Cook scores 20 for Flyers

The Dayton Flyers women’s basketball team rallied from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter only to lose 60-57 to the Florida Gators on Wednesday in Gainesville, Fla.

Dayton (6-3) was outscored 6-2 in the final three minutes after outscoring Florida 11-0 in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter. The Flyers lost for the first time since Nov. 25. They had won their last three games against Illinois, Florida A&M and Illinois State.

In the first quarter, Dayton overcame an early 11-5 deficit with an 11-0 run and built a 19-17 lead. Florida outscored Dayton 14-2 in the final five minutes of the second quarter, building a 40-30 halftime lead.

Dayton still faced a 10-point deficit, 54-44, after three quarters. The Flyers scored the first 11 points of the quarter and took a 55-54 lead on a fast-break layup by Makira Cook with 3:31 to play. Florida scored its first points of the quarter with 1:49 to play on a layup by Kiara Smith, who gave the Gators a 56-55 lead.

After a turnover by Dayton, Florida’s Jordyn Merritt made two free throws with 1:21 to play. Dayton trailed 58-55. The teams traded baskets on their next possessions with Cook scoring for Dayton and Lavender Briggs making a jump shot with 29 seconds to play.

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Dayton missed two shots in the last 15 seconds as Florida (8-3) secured the victory.

Cook led Dayton with 20 points. Jenna Giacone scored 12. The Flyers shot 37.1 percent from the field, while Florida shot 40.4 percent.

This was the second of four straight games on the road or on a neutral court. Dayton now gets a 12-day break before playing in the West Palm Beach Tournament in Florida against High Point (2-5) on Dec. 20 and Clemson (4-3) on Dec. 21. Both games will start at 3:30 p.m.

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