A Wednesday game at Florida leads into a nine-day break between games, the longest stretch since the preseason, for the Ohio State women’s basketball team.

The team will determine the intensity and duration of workouts during that time with its performance against the Gators. After back-to-back games in which the No. 12 Buckeyes (8-2) felt they weren’t close to their best on defense or in rebounding, they’ll look to regain their form against Florida (5-3).

“We want to go out on a good note because we have a lot of practices coming up, so we don’t want (coaches) to be mad at us,” redshirt junior forward Makayla Waterman said. “I think this is a good opportunity for us to play a good team and hopefully get a good win so we’re feeling confident going into the long break and lots of practices.”

Coach Kevin McGuff said he has been pleased with his team’s response in the two practices after Ohio State’s 83-70 win over Maine on Sunday. The Buckeyes took an 11-point lead into half but allowed the Black Bears to shoot 50 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from three-point range, in the second half and struggled to put the game away.

“We’ve been doing some good things on the court and just not sustaining it,” McGuff said. “We’ve been allowing our offense to fuel our defense and that’s a recipe for disaster. Anybody knows that.”

It’s also common knowledge that practice helps the overall product on the court, and the Buckeyes haven’t had much practice because of playing 10 games in 24 days to begin the season. Ohio State will play just six games in December, meaning the Buckeyes have plenty of time to practice and build consistency on the defensive end.

McGuff termed December “the most important month of the season.”

“We have to use this time. We have to get better. I thought we had a really good preseason and we started the year in a good place, but there’s just been some things that have eroded a little bit, especially with our defense and maybe our rebounding,” McGuff said. “We have to make sure we shore that up, take the information we’ve learned from this tough stretch and get better.”

If they show improvement Wednesday against the Gators and in the workouts to follow, the Buckeyes will have less to worry about heading into the fast-approaching Big Ten season.

“Practice doesn’t take long if we get it right,” Waterman said. “As long as we’re doing the right thing, then we’ll get out of here, but we just have to stay here until we get it right, so then in the game we do the right thing.”