Women’s Hoops Hosts Exhibition Matchup Wednesday

The University of Florida women’s basketball team kicks off its 2019-20 slate with an exhibition contest Wednesday, Oct. 30 when it hosts Valdosta State for a 6 p.m. ET tip at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Fans will have a chance to get their first look at Coach Newbauer’s Gator squad in the free exhibition.

Date:Wednesday, Oct. 30
Time:6 p.m. ET
Opponent:Valdosta State
Tickets:Free Admission
Promotions:Post-game autographs, free posters, schedule cards and magnets. 
Game Notes:Florida Game Notes

Florida, hosting an exhibition for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign, returns seven letterwinners and welcomes the services of five talented newcomers this season. All seven returning players started at least one game a season ago and the Gators bring back nearly 60 percent of their offensive output despite losing their top two scorers.
Redshirt-junior point guard Kiki Smith, who averaged 7.1 points, 3.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game in her debut season with the Gators, is one of the key veterans returning while rookie Lavender Briggs, a five-star signee, headlines UF’s new wave of talent.

The freshmen quartet of Briggs (Provo, Utah), Brylee Bartram (Tampa, Fla.), Faith Dut (Vancouver, British Columbia) and Nina Rickards (Queens, N.Y.) will suit up for their first game in a Florida uniform along with transfer Emer Nichols (Texas A&M).
Division II Valdosta State, under the guidance of first-year head coach Deandra Schirmer, returns five from last season’s squad which finished 21-10. The Blazers were selected to finish fifth in the Gulf South Conference preseason poll.
The Gators and Blazers are set to square off for the first time since the 1983 season. Valdosta State holds a 10-2 record in the all-time series with all 12 matchups occurring from 1974-1983.
Following Wednesday’s preseason tilt, the Gators kick off their 2019-20 regular season schedule Tuesday, Nov. 5 at Grambling State.
After beginning their season on the road for the third time in the last four seasons, UF hosts six-straight home games from Nov. 10 – Dec. 1 the team’s longest homestand since the 2005-06 season when it hosted eight consecutive games.

  • The first game in the history of the Florida women’s basketball program game came against Valdosta State back on Jan. 13, 1975. The Blazers spoiled the celebration with a 57-47 win at Alligator Alley.
  • Valdosta St. finds it names in the UF record books as it scored 115 points in a game against the Gators in 1977, the third-most points scored by opponent in program history.
  • Florida’s last exhibition matchup occurred during the 2008-09 when it hosted DT-3, a travel team comprised of recent collegiate stars. The Gators fell 71-62.
  • All seven returning letterwinners for UF started at least one game a season ago. UF, Ole Miss and Alabama are the only teams in the SEC with every returner having started a game the season prior.
  • Florida finished the 2018-19 season winning two of its final three games, including its first road win (at Vanderbilt) and an SEC Tournament win (Ole Miss). Over the final three, Smith averaged 8.3 points and 5.3 assists per game.
  • Of Florida’s 12 scholarship players, eight of them are underclassmen. Of the four upperclassmen, the group has 34 starts and 160 games of experience at the Division I level.
  • Florida women’s basketball will host its second annual Field Trip Day on Monday, Nov. 18. Tipoff is set for 10:30 a.m. ET as local schools are invited to checkout the Gators battle Presbyterian College. Admission will be FREE for all local elementary students, teachers, administrators, and chaperones who register for the game online prior to the Nov. 11 deadline. Register here

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