Florida Hosts Auburn in SEC Home Opener Sunday

The University of Florida women’s basketball team returns to the hardwood on Sunday, Jan. 6 when it hosts the Auburn Tigers in its 2018-19 SEC home opener at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

The contest will air live on the SEC Network with Paul Sunderland and Blair Schaefer on the call while Kyle Crooks and Brittany Davis will handle the radio broadcast on ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM.

Game Notes (UF) | Game Notes (AU)

Sunday’s game marks Daughter’s Day at the O’Dome as all daughters 12 and under will receive a special flower. Following the game, all fans are invited to stick around for free ice cream, served by special guest server Yanis David of Gators track and field, as part of the Sunday Sundaes promotion and for a post-game player autograph session.

Florida women’s basketball is also excited to announce the addition of the Baseline Fan Zone which will be open for all remaining home games. For Sunday home games the entertainment area will feature balloon animals, cornhole and other games, a video game station and a great place to stand and view the action from up close.

Despite leading at the half for the ninth time this season and holding an advantage as large as 20 points in the game, Florida was unable to hold off the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa in its SEC opener on Thursday, falling 74-67. Funda Nakkasoglu finished with 18 points, including 13 in the second half, while Zada Williams, registering 10 or more points for the fifth time in her last seven games, added 11 off the UF bench. Alabama finished the game on a 13-6 run to thwart the Gators’ bid for a road win. 

The Gators have won four-straight homes for the first time since the 2015-16 campaign and have not dropped a decision at home since late November. Over the stretch at home, Nakkasoglu, Williams and Washington have all averaged double figures while the Gators have outscored their opponents by an average of 12.5 points per game.

Nakkasoglu, averaging 18.8 points per game overall, has really pushed her game to a higher level in home tilts, averaging 24.4 points per game in Gainesville. 

Auburn, entering the matchup with a 12-2 overall record, saw its nine-game winning streak snapped Thursday as it fell in its SEC opener at home to the No. 10 Tennessee Volunteers 78-69. The Tigers are off to their best start since the 2008-09 season when they claimed 20-straight victories to open the season and ultimately hoisted the SEC Championship trophy. AU, receiving votes in the AP Poll for the first time since 2016, features a quartet of players averaging north of 10 points per game, paced by SEC Preseason All-Second Team selection Janiah McKay who leads the team in scoring, 14.6, and assists, 4.6. Unique Thompson, also recognized as an SEC Preseason All-Second team performer, averages a double double at 13.6 points per game and 11.2 rebounds. One of the league’s highest-powered offenses so far in 2018-19, the Tigers rank third in the SEC in scoring (81.1) and third in field goal percentage (.441), but also feature a stout defensive unit as they lead the conference in steals at 12.4 per contest. The Tigers are under the direction of seventh-year Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy who has amassed 114 wins during her tenure with the Tigers.

Sunday marks the 58th meeting between Auburn and Florida as the Tigers hold a 36-21 edge in the series. The teams have played to an even 11-11 record in contests played in Gainesville and Auburn has claimed four of the past five meetings overall. Florida’s last victory over Auburn occurred on Jan. 4, 2015 when the Gators claimed a 63-50 road win.  

The teams met a season ago at Auburn, and despite getting out to a commanding 18-2 lead early and a team-high 15 points from Nakkasoglu, the Gators dropped an 84-55 decision to the Tigers in their SEC opener on Dec. 31, 2017.

Following Sunday’s matchup against Auburn, the Gators resume conference play on Thursday, Jan. 10 when they travel to South Carolina.

Florida vs. Auburn Broadcast Info
Time & Date: Sunday, Jan. 6
Live Stream: SEC Network
Live Stats: Link
Radio: ESPN 98.1FM/850 AM WRUF
Records: Florida (4-10, 0-1) | Auburn (12-2, 0-1)


  • UF’s bench is outscoring opponent’s reserves, 261-167 on the season and the Gators have held the edge in terms of bench production in nine games.
  • Florida’s eight newcomers have accounted for 61 percent of its minutes and 70 percent of its scoring.
  • The Gators, who have outrebounded their opponents in eight games on the season, are averaging 42.6 boards per game in home contests compared to 35.7 on the road.
  • Funda Nakkasoglu leads the SEC in three-pointers per game (3.4) and three-point shooting percentage (.500) and ranks second in points per game (18.8). Nakkasoglu’s three-point percentage ranks her fifth nationally and three-pointers per game average is 13th best in the nation.
  • Zada Williams has really picked it up over the last seven games averaging 12.2 points per game after scoring 6.6 per contest through Florida’s first seven. She has racked up five double figure scoring outputs in the last seven contests for the Gators.
  • Against Alabama, Florida connected on 12 three-pointers, giving it its second-most treys in a game this season, and first time with double figure triples since Dec. 2 vs. Texas Tech.
  • Florida has held the lead at the half in nine contests, but has posted just a 3-6 record in such games.
  • UF is outscoring opponents 223-201 in first quarters on the year.
  • Through games as of Jan. 4, Delicia Washington ranks 5th in the SEC in rebounding, is tied for 13th nationally in rebounds per game by a guard and is tied for 5th among guards from Power 5 conferences. She is one of the more accomplished rebounders in the league, ranking ninth among active SEC players with 526 rebounds.
  • Florida ranks 18th nationally in three-pointers attempted (360) while ranking 54th nationally and third in the SEC averaging 7.9 three-pointers per game. 
  • Auburn’s leading scorer Janiah McKay is a graduate of Gainesville High School and earned Alachua County Player of the Year honors in 2015.
  • UF has dropped four straight SEC home openers and its last victory in an SEC home opener occurred during the 2013-14 campaign when it topped Mississippi State, 82-72. 

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