Florida Set to Host Mississippi State Thursday Night

The University of Florida women’s basketball team resumes conference play Thursday, Jan. 24 when it hosts No. 7 Mississippi State for a 7 p.m. tilt at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

The contest will be streamed live on SEC Network+ with Kyle Crooks and Brittany Davis on the call while Tom Collett and Kelly Davis will handle the radio broadcast on ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM and WFXJ 930AM (Jacksonsville).

Thursday’s game features a Pajama Party theme as fans are encouraged to come to the game dressed in their favorite pajamas. There will be free milk and cookies for students at halftime and the first 250 fans will receive a free sleep mask. It will also be We Back Pat night at the O’Dome as players and staff will be wearing special shirts prior to the game in support of the Pat Summitt Foundation. In addition, the event is designated as Dance Marathon Check In and all Dance Marathon organizations are invited to the game to earn spirit points upon check in. The organization with the highest attendance will receive $250 towards their fundraising efforts.

Game Notes (UF) | Game Notes (MSU)

After falling on the road to Ole Miss, 66-76 in its last outing, Florida will look to the friendly confines of Exactech Arena, a place where it has won five of its last six games, to get back on track.
Last time out, three Gators finished in double figures paced by Funda Nakkasoglu’s 21 and Florida trailed by just two early in the fourth quarter, but saw the host Rebels pull away late. Danielle Rainey, putting together her second-straight game with 15 or more points, registered 15 while Zada Williams chipped in with 10 points. UF twice erased double digit leads and held the edge in rebounding and bench points, but was denied its bid for its first road win.

A season ago the Bulldogs and Gators squared off twice and Mississippi State claimed both matchups. Florida fell 53-90 on Jan. 25 in Starkville and 50-98 in Gainesville on Feb. 8. Nakkasoglu and Washington, enjoyed individual success in the series as Nakkasoglu averaged 17.5 points per game in the two matchups while Washington averaged 9.5 points and 11.0 rebounds.

No. 7 Mississippi State enters the game riding a seven-game winning streak and sits atop the SEC with a 5-0 record in league play. The Bulldogs, winners of 21 straight SEC contests dating back to last season, feature the nation’s top scoring offense averaging 90.9 points per game. MSU also touts a stout defensive unit, limiting opponents to just 56.7 points per game, giving it a +34.2 scoring margin which is the best in the country. MSU, a veteran-laden squad, is paced by two seniors, Teaira McCowan and Jordan Danberry and a graduate transfer Anriel Howard. McCowan, the 2019 SEC Preseason Player of the Year, averages a double-double at 17.3 points and 13.9 rebounds while Howard, who transferred in from Texas A&M, scores 15.2 point per game. Danberry, one of four Bulldogs to average double figures, checks in at 13.4 points per contest. Sophomore Chloe Bibby, who had started all 18 games for MSU, sustained a knee injury last game and will miss the remainder of the season. The Bulldogs are under the direction of seventh-year head coach Vic Schaefer who has amassed a 178-54 record in Starkville and guided his team to back-to-back Final Four appearances.

Florida holds a 28-23 lead in the alltime series which dates back to 1978. The Bulldogs have claimed five straight meetings, but prior to their recent string of success, the Gators had won the previous nine contests.

Following Thursday’s clash, the Gators will next host Arkansas Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. at the O’Connell Center. 

Florida vs. No. 7 Mississippi State
Time & Date: Thursday, Jan. 24
Live Stream:SEC Network+
Live Stats:Link
Radio:ESPN 98.1FM/850 AM WRUF
Records: Florida (5-13, 1-4) | No. 7 Mississippi State (17-1, 10-0)


  • Thursday’s matchup features the No. 2 and No. 3 active career points leaders in the SEC in Funda Nakkasoglu (2nd, 1,835) and Teaira McCowan (3rd, 1,592).
  • UF’s bench is outscoring its opponent’s reserves, 355-227 on the season and the Gators have held the edge in terms of bench production in 12 games. Florida’s +128 margin in bench production is the fifth-highest in the SEC.
  • Florida has won five of its last six home games, averaging 63.7 points and allowing just 56.3 over the six game span. 
  • In all five of their wins, the Gators have outrebounded their opponent. UF is averaging 42.2 rebounds in wins while averaging 35.0 in losses.
  • TCU transfer Danielle Rainey is averaging 9.4 points per game during SEC play, shooting an efficient 37.9 percent from beyond the arc. She is second on the team with 11 three-pointers and in her last two games she has scored 16 and 15 points, respectively while draining seven treys. Rainey dropped a career-best 16 in UF’s come-from-behind win over Mizzou.
  • Florida has featured three or more double-figure scorers in each of its last two games, marking just the second time this season it has done so. Florida did so in four-straight games earlier in non-conference play against Northeastern, Texas Tech, Bethune-Cookman and FAMU. 
  • After outrebounding its opponent just four times through the first 11 games, UF has won the rebounding battle in five of its last seven games. 
  • 10 of Florida’s 13 losses have been by 10 or fewer points and three have been decided by two or fewer possessions. A season ago Florida played in 15 games decided by 10 or fewer (4-11).
  • Funda Nakkasoglu continues to shoot and score efficiently for the Gators:
    • Through games as of Jan. 22, SEC Rank
      o No. 1, 3-point field goals per game (3.1)
      o No. 1, 3-point field goal percentage (.476)
      o No. 6, Field goal percentage (.489) 
      o No. 8, Points per game (16.9)
      Through games as of Jan. 22, NCAA Rank
      o No. 5, 3-point field goal percentage 
      o No. 22, 3-point field goals per game
      o No. 93, Minutes played per game (34.92)
      o No. 91, Field goal percentage

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