Gators Back in Gainesville to Host Missouri Sunday

The University of Florida women’s basketball team continues its 2018-19 SEC slate when it returns home Sunday, Jan. 13 to host Missouri at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.

The contest will air live on the SEC Network with Roy Philpott and Brooke Weisbrod on the call while Kyle Crooks and Brittany Davis will handle the radio broadcast on ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM.

Game Notes UF 

Celebrating an exciting three-event weekend at the O’Connell Center, fans will receive free admission to Sunday’s game with a ticket stub from either the Friday gymnastics meet or the Saturday men’s basketball game. In addition, the first 500 attendees will receive a limited-edition t-shirt featuring Alberta dribbling a basketball. Following the game, fans are invited to join the team for Sunday Sundaes and post-game autographs.  

The Gators return home after suffering a setback at the hands of No. 21 South Carolina Thursday evening in Columbia. Despite double-digit point totals from Kiki Smith and Funda Nakkasoglu who finished with 13 and 10 points, respectively, the Gators were unable to overcome the stingy Gamecock defense and a quick start out of the gate by South Carolina.

The sophomore Smith, in her first year with the Gators after transferring from ASA College in New York, has led the team in scoring in each of the last two games, finishing in double figures in back-to-back contests for the second time this season. The left-handed lead guard has found her touch from distance, netting five three-pointers in the last two games, after adding just five three-pointers combined in the nine games prior. So far in the three league tilts, Florida leads the SEC in three-pointers per game (9.3) and has registered 10 or more treys in two of its three games.  

Florida will look to the friendly confines of Exactech Arena, where it has won four of its last five, to help snap its three-game skid.

Missouri enters the matchup winners of six-straight games and has played to the tune of a 14-3 record overall, which includes a 3-0 start to conference action. The Tigers, who are a perfect 5-0 on the road, are receiving votes in both the AP and Coaches Poll after being selected to finish fifth in the SEC Preseason Poll. Missouri has opened its SEC slate with home wins over Ole Miss and Arkansas while battling to a narrow 66-64 win at then No. 10 Tennessee on Jan. 6. The Tigers are paced by the upperclassmen duo of Sophie Cunningham and Amber Smith, who both average above 14 points per game. Cunningham, a First Team All-SEC Preseason selection, leads the way with a 15.7 points per game average to go with a team-high 3.1 assists per contest while the Louisiana native Smith, is the team’s best rebounder checking at 7.9 boards per game. Mizzou is under the direction of ninth-year head coach Robin Pingeton who has led the Tigers to three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, registering a 181-111 record. The Tigers allow just 56.2 points per game, the fourth-best mark in the conference, and are limiting opponents to just .354 shooting on the season, the second-best figure in the SEC.

Florida trails the all-time series vs. Missouri, 0-7, as all of the meetings have occurred after the Tigers joined the Southeastern Conference in the 2012-13 season. Four of the seven matchups between the Gators and Tigers have been decided by seven or fewer points, including last season’s edition, which saw then No. 15 Missouri escape with a narrow 66-64 win at home.

Last season’s meeting featured 10 lead changes, and Florida led at a point in each quarter, but Haley Lorenzen’s deep three to win it at the buzzer came up short. Delicia Washington led the way with 23 points as she drained three 3-pointers and finished a perfect 6-of-6 from the stripe.

Following Sunday’s showdown with the Tigers, Florida will return to game action Sunday, Jan. 20 when it travels to Ole Miss.

Florida vs. Missouri Broadcast Info
Time & Date: Sunday, Jan. 13
Live Stream: SEC Network
Live Stats: Link
Radio: ESPN 98.1FM/850 AM WRUF
Records: Florida (4-12, 0-3) | Missouri (14-3, 3-0)


·       Sunday’s matchup features the league’s top two active scorers in Missouri’s Sophie Cunningham (1,830) and Funda Nakkasoglu (1,812). Nakkasoglu scored 1,149 points at Utah State before transferring to UF in 2016 and has scored 663 for the Gators.

·       There figures to be plenty of long-range shots taken in the game as the contest features two of the league’s top three-point shooting teams in Florida (7.9 3PTFG/G, 2nd) and Missouri (7.8 3PTFG/G, 3rd).

·       Florida’s eight newcomers have accounted for 71 percent of its minutes and 57 percent of its scoring.

·       Funda Nakkasoglu is averaging 22.2 points per game at home compared to 15.3 on the road. The redshirt-senior has brought her game to another level in Gainesville, recording 20 or more points in five of her six games played at home. She’s shooting a sparkling .561 from the floor in games played at the O’Dome.

·       Zada Williams has enjoyed similar success at home, averaging 11 points and seven boards compared to 6.1 points and four rebounds on the road.

·       UF has featured six different starting lineups on the season as Coach Newbauer continues to try to find the best way utilize his roster which has seen eight players make their Gator debut in 2018-19. Freshman Kristina Moore is the only player to start all 16.

·       Florida’s eight newcomers have accounted for 71 percent of its minutes and 57 percent of its scoring.

·       Florida’s three freshmen have all played valuable minutes so far in 2018-19 as the rookies have combined to start 18 games this season. Florida’s freshmen are combining to score 18.9 points per game in Gator victories compared to just 12.8 in losses.

·       As of Jan. 10, Florida ranks 64th nationally in Strength of Schedule as it has taken on six teams ranked with in the RPI’s top 55. Florida has battled 10 teams that qualified for the postseason a season ago. NCAA Tournament (FSU, Mercer, Ohio State, South Carolina), WNIT (Indiana, Bethune-Cookman, Utah, UNLV, Alabama) WBI (Northeastern).

·       Missouri has also played a challenging slate, ranking 63rd, as the SEC has 10 teams that fall within the top of 70 of Strength of Schedule.

·       Nine of Florida’s 12 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).

SOCIAL: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram