Photo by Kristen Oliff /

The Florida Gator women’s basketball team improved to 3-0 with a 84-48 victory over Samford. This is Florida head coach Cam Newbauer’s best start to a season since taking the job in Gainesville.

A First-Half Clinic

After last weekend’s victory over Longwood, Coach Newbauer spoke on the importance of dictating games on the defensive side of the ball. The Gators epitomized this philosophy in the first half, keeping Samford to just 18 points on 8-34 from the floor.

Meanwhile, the Gators’ offense was clicking on all cylinders. Three Florida players went perfect from three-point territory in the first half: Kiki Smith (3-3), Lavender Briggs (3-3) and Ariel Johnson (3-3).

The Gators were more efficient behind the arc than they were inside of it. As a team, Florida shot 11-15 on three-balls compared to 8-17 on two-point attempts.

One area the Gators improved on from the game against Longwood was limiting turnovers. In the first quarter on Sunday, Florida turned the ball over nine times. Against Samford, in the first two quarters, Florida gave it away just seven times.

The Pace Slows

Despite the 36-point margin of victory by the end of the game, the Gators outscored the guests by just one point in the second half. The threes stopped falling, and the pace of the game slowed down.

The Gators failed to score a three-pointer in the second half until just over two minutes remained in the fourth quarter.


Briggs led the Gators with 19 points and nine rebounds on 7-16 shooting. Smith followed closely with 18 points, five boards and four assists on 7-11 from the floor.

Overall, the Gators shot 33-64, 13-25 from three.

“I like how aggressively we played on both ends of the floor, but defensively, we set the tone early on.” -Cam Newbauer

What’s Next?

Florida has a quick turnaround with another home game on Monday against Presbyterian. It will tip off at 10:30 a.m.

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