Basketball

WBB: Gators upset No. 22 Arkansas in O’Dome thriller

Final: Florida 83, Arkansas 80

The Florida women’s basketball team are now 2-0 against ranked teams since the beginning of February. On Sunday, the Gators topped No. 22 Arkansas in a thriller at Exactech Arena.

Led by junior guard Kiki Smith and freshman Lavender Briggs, the young Gators battled through forty minutes to pull off the upset. And they did it on Senior Night.

Prior to the game, the team honored senior forwards Zada Williams and Paige Robinson.

How It Happened:

The Gators got out to a quick start by scoring the game’s first ten points and led by as many as 14 points (19-5). By the end of the first quarter, Florida possessed a 26-16 lead.

In the second quarter, Arkansas cut into that advantage and the Gators’ lead had dropped to just seven by half (47-40).

Florida once again built a lead to as much as 13 at the 6:59 mark of the third quarter, but the Razorbacks would make a comeback. By the end of the period the Gators’ lead was at eight (64-56).

Arkansas would almost completely close the gap in the fourth thanks to three crucial three-pointers, the final one put the Razorbacks within one (81-80) with 1:15 to play.

Kiki Smith hit a pull-up jumper from the elbow to extend the lead to three and the Gators were able to hold on from there.

Florida’s bench played a vital role as Emanuely de Oliveira added eleven points and Ariel Johnson contributed nine.

Williams added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Individual Stats:

  • Smith: 26 points, 6-6 FT, 4 assists, 2 turnovers
  • Briggs: 20 points, 4 rebounds
  • Williams: 12 points, 10 rebounds
  • de Oliveira: 11 points, 3-3 3FG

Team Stats:

  • FG% : 47
  • 3FG% : 35
  • FT% : 69
  • Reb+/- : +13
  • Assists : 13
  • TO: 17
  • Bench Points: 20

What’s Next:

Florida will complete it’s home schedule with a contest against No. 1 South Carolina. The Gamecocks are the favorites for an NCAA title and will present a tall task for the Gators.

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