Gators Outlast Longwood in Home Opener

The University of Florida women’s basketball team improved to 2-0 with a 71-54 victory Sunday afternoon over Longwood in its 2019-20 home opener at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

Box Score
Paced by the play of freshman Lavender Briggs who added her first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, Florida shook off a slow start to improve its record to 2-0 for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

Sunday marked head coach Cam Newbauer‘s 100th collegiate victory. The Indiana native posted 79 wins at Belmont before taking the reins at Florida where he has recorded 21 victories.

Redshirt-shirt senior Zada Williams finished in double figures for the second time in as many games with 13 points and seven rebounds while freshman Brylee Bartram chipped in with 11 tallies off the bench.
After facing a 19-11 deficit at the end of the first, UF pulled away in the second and third quarters, outscoring Longwood 47-17 over the span.
Freshman Nina Rickards, who has 19 points in her first two collegiate games, just missed a double-double of her own with nine points and 11 rebounds.
Playing in their first game in front of the O’Connell Center crowd, Briggs, Bartram and Rickards dazzled, totaling 36 points and 23 rebounds.
After the Lancers used a 7-0 run to build a double digit lead late in the first frame, Bartram swished a three at the quarter’s buzzer to trim the gap and inject life into UF’s offense.
Momentum continued to build for Florida in the second as the Gators scored the first nine points to extend a 12-0 run and jump ahead 20-19 lead. Florida held serve the rest of the half and carried a 35-25 lead into the intermission.
The play of UF’s freshmen class was critical in the first 20 minutes as Bartram, Briggs and Rickards combined to score 24 of the Gators’ 35. Briggs and Bartram led all scorers at the break with 11 each.
Bartram ignited her team and the crowd with a strong shooting display in the first half. After her first quarter heroics, Bartram kept things rolling in the second registering eight points. Briggs was equally as effective offensively, but she did the majority of her scoring from the mid range, shooting 5-of-8 from the floor. Florida found its footing on the defensive end as well in the second, limiting the Lancers to just 20 percent shooting and a total of six points.
UF kept its foot on the pedal in the third shooting 10-of-17 from the floor and outpacing the Lancers 23-11.
Longwood surged back late, winning the fourth quarter 18-13, but Florida’s mid-game run proved to be the difference in its home opener.

All-Big South forward Dayna Rouse led the way for Longwood with 11 points.
Redshirt-junior Kiki Smith had her fingerprints all over Florida’s win, registering nine points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Saturday, Nov. 16 | 2 p.m.
Florida (2-0) vs. Samford (1-1)
Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center 

Head Coach Cam Newbauer
Opening Statement
“Proud of our ladies for gritting it out and getting a w. It wasn’t the prettiest basketball at times, but we stayed the course, hit shots when we had to. We got some really good defensive stops and we had to have them to get us the lead. I thought our guards did a great job rebounding-wise. These two next to me (Briggs and Smith) both had ten rebounds, and Nina had 11 rebounds and Kristina Moore had eight rebounds. I thought we got the right shot. There just not going down right now but that’s okay because I think in time they are going to go in and we’re going to get more comfortable in game situations.
We’re just going to keep getting better, keep working each day. We’ve got a great group that’s excited and enthused about being together and playing together, and I know they’ll be fired up to get in the gym on Tuesday and work for our next endeavor.”

On career win No. 100…
“I was not aware of it. I haven’t scored one point in those 100 wins, one rebound, one assist, nothing. I’ve made a lot of bad play calls, I’m sure, made a lot of mistakes. The only reason why I’ve had that privilege is because I had great people around me, with the players and coaches that make this possible. It’s pretty cool, because never in my life would I have thought I would’ve won a hundred games as a Division I basketball coach and be coaching at the University of Florida, so it’s pretty cool. I’m just grateful to have such great people around us that trusted in the process and trusted in what we’ve been trying to build and do to make it possible.”

On the adjustments the team made after the first quarter…
“We didn’t really adjust a whole lot, we just want to be more aggressive to make plays and post and that kind of stuff. That’s par for the course when you have eight freshmen [and] sophomores you’re playing a lot of time. You look at our back court and the only upperclassman’s Kiki. There’s a time we only had four freshmen on the floor, and that’s just the growing pains that you’re going to have with a young team. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s a work in progress. The good thing is they want to get better and they want to improve and they listen. They try to invest and do what we’re asking. I think that’s what you saw is that they relaxed a little bit and trusted their training and be more of what we are every day in practice.”

On advice coming out of the first quarter…
“We just wanted to dictate what was happening from a defensive standpoint. They only scored six points in that second quarter. We just thought we sat back a little bit in that first period. It was almost like we came out not totally prepared for the energy and aggressiveness they were going to have. That’s not good. We have to get better at that, and you can’t be on your heels. We have to be the aggressor, and that’s one thing we have to work on. It can’t be dictated by whether or not our shots go in. I think defensively, we did a good job and that sparked our offense in the second quarter.”

Freshman Lavender Briggs
On achieving a double-double in first home game…
“I wasn’t really focused on points. I was focused on rebounding because that’s what we were trying to do for the entire game. I was really worried about team play and just getting the win so whatever needs to be done, I was trying to do.”
On Brylee Bartram’s first quarter buzzer beater …
“Yeah, I think it was a very big moment because it just gets us all hype when we make shots. Not all of our shots were falling so whenever someone hits a shot, not just Brylee, it leads to good things.”

Redshirt-junior Kiki Smith
On the play of her freshmen teammates…
“One thing that this team talks about all of the time is no matter who it is scoring, if they’re hot we’re going to feed them the ball. Tonight, it was Lavender [Briggs] and Brylee [Bartram]. Everyone pitched in, but they were doing what we needed them to do. Whether it’s Brylee or Lavender or any other freshman, we help them out and let them know that they’re ready for this because they are. All four of them are big-time players that we need on this team.”
On limiting turnovers…
“Noticing the pace of the game. Towards the second quarter, we realized that we needed to have a better feel for the game. We went too fast when we needed to slow it down and vice versa. Just being nervous coming out.”


  • Sunday marked head coach Cam Newbauer‘s 100th collegiate victory. The Indiana native posted 79 wins at Belmont before taking the reins at Florida where he has recorded 21 victories.
  • Florida improves to 2-0 for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
  • The Gators now hold a 2-0 record in their all-time series against Longwood.
  • UF played its first of six-straight home games, its longest homestand since the 2005-06 season.
  • Florida caught the turnover bug in the first recording nine miscues while Longwood had zero.
  • The Gators went on a 14-4 run in the 2nd quarter to take the lead for the rest of the way
    • 12 of those 14 points came from freshmen Brylee Bartram (8) and Lavender Briggs (4)
    • The Gators held Longwood scoreless for the last 3:43 of the second quarter, using an 8-0 run to finish the half.
    • The Lancers shot just 3-of-15 from the field and were held to 0-for-7 from 3-point range in the second quarter.
  • Florida’s largest lead of the contest came at 6:27 in the fourth quarter, 64-36 (28 points).
  • Florida outrebounded Longwood for the contest, 58-33.
  • The Gators had three players reach double-figure scoring for a consecutive game (Lavender Briggs – 16, Zada Williams – 13, Brylee Bartram – 11) 
  • The Gators posted 71 points, their most at home since January 27, 2019 when they scored 73 points against Arkansas

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