Florida improves to 7-3 after overcoming inconsistencies from the floor
After an episode of heartbreak, the Florida Gators battled through points of inconsistency but busted out a 63-54 win over the Texas Christian Hornfrogs. The victory ends a four-game road trip that included a work-cation in sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the Gators won both matchups.
Florida broke even after returning to the States, getting upset by four points to George Mason despite a last-minute effort by the Gator offense.
TCU dominated from beyond the arc on Sunday, but Florida stayed coherent while shooting from the field and inside the paint.
UF guard Lavender Briggs led the way once again for Florida while posting 22 points and inches closer to 1,000 career points. The junior is climbing that mountain, step-by-step, and resides at 920 points in her three-year stint.
Forward Jordyn Merritt and guard Kiki Smith found their way to double-digit points during the Florida victory. The two offensive stars combined efforts to place 23 points on the scoreboard while Smith tallied her 10th career double-double with 11 rebounds.
Briggs, Smith and Merritt did everything they could to get to the basket but the team as a whole was sub-par in their shooting, especially from three-point territory. The team went 2-for-18 (11.1%) from downtown and went an alarming 24-for-62 (38.7%) from the rest of the floor.
TCU shot just well (38.5%), but Florida forced 23 turnovers and converted them to 19 points to run away with a win in their back pocket. The turnovers included nine steals and a few possessions followed by five UF blocks. Sophomore Floor Toonders tallied a career-high three rejections.
Another assist to the redemption was Florida’s ability to out-duel TCU in the paint. The Gators won the battle of the boards, 38-30, but TCU did have the 30-20 advantage for points in the paint.
UF is now 3-1 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge and have a 2-1 all-time series lead over the Horned Frogs. The Gators return home on Wednesday for a 2 p.m. matchup in Exactech Arena against Dayton. The action will be broadcast to SEC Network+.