COLLEGE STATION, Texas â€“ Squaring off with its third-straight AP Top 25 opponent, the University of Florida women’s basketball team (11-8, 2-4) was upended 69-42 by No. 12 Texas A&M (15-3, 3-2) Sunday afternoon inside of Reed Arena.
Standout Lavender Briggs scored in double figures for a team-best 16th time and she added her team-leading fifth double-double, but it wasn’t enough as the Gators fell short in their sixth conference contest.
Briggs finished with a team-best 14 points and 11 rebounds while fellow freshmen, Nina Rickards joined her in double figures with 10. Redshirt-senior Zada Williams rounded out Florida’s trio of double-figure scorers with 11.
The young Gators were held to a season-low 42 points as one of the league’s most experienced squads, Texas A&M, improved to 15-3 on the season.
For the Florida native, Williams, she finished in double figures for the 11th time in 19 games, surpassing her total of all of 2018-19.
Going up against a veteran-laden Aggie squad, picked to finish win the SEC in the conference’s preseason coaches poll, Florida couldn’t keep pace as the Aggies extended their record to 10-1 at home.
Both teams struggled to find their footing early as they combined to make just three of their first 18 shots. The Aggies held a slight 6-4 edge at the under-five media timeout and Williams tallied all four points. Florida endured a one of 11 shooting stretch but stayed the course with a focused defensive approach. The score stood at 8-8 after the first as Florida held TAMU to its fewest points in an opening quarter all season.
The scoring picked up in the second as the Aggies led 20-16 at second period’s media timeout. After the score was deadlocked at 16-16, TAMU rattled off 11-straight points and jumped ahead, 27-16. A step-back trey from the top of the key from Rickards ended the scoreless spell at the 2:02 mark, but the run would end at 15-3 in favor of the Aggies to end the half.
The Aggies made 11 of their 18 attempts in the second quarter and carried a 31-19 edge into the intermission. After shooting just 20 percent in the opening stanza, the host Aggies shot 60.1 percent in the second period while Florida posted a 41.7 shooting percentage. Ciera Johnson had nine points in the frame and for the half, TAMU tallied 20 of its 31 total points in the paint.
Briggs had things going early for Florida as she checked in with eight points and seven rebounds after the first 20 minutes. Despite Briggs’ hot start, Florida was limited to a season-low in first half points.
The Aggies scored the first four points of the second half and were ahead 42-26 at the third quarter’s under-five break in play. In the first five minutes of the quarter, Florida made one of its four shots while the Aggies were true on four of their 12 attempts. The Aggies used a 9-0 run late in the frame to take a 49-26 lead, but a late flurry allowed Florida to close the gap to 51-35 at the end of the third quarter. The Gators finished the stanza on a 9-2 run, connecting on a three-pointer on each of their final two possessions.
To open the fourth, the Aggies scored 10-straight points and converted four of their first five shots. The Aggies outscored Florida 18-7 all together as they pulled away in the final frame.
N’Dea Jones, who entered the game averaging 9.7 points per game, finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds to pace a quartet of double-figure scorers. Johnson posted 16 points and 10 rebounds to nab a double-double as well.
Points in the paint went in favor of the Aggies who posted 40 compared to UF’s 16.
The Gators will not play a mid-week game this week and next return to action Sunday, Jan. 26 when they journey to Arkansas to square off with the nationally-ranked Razorbacks.
Sunday, Jan. 26 | 3 p.m. ET
Florida (11-8, 2-4) vs. No. 23 Arkansas (14-3, 2-2)
Bud Walton Arena | Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Texas A&M marked the seventh team Florida has played that qualified for last season’s NCAA Tournament and the sixth team ranked the AP Top 25.
- Briggs finished with 10 or more points for the 16th time this season.
- Briggs added her fifth double-double of the season, the second most among all SEC freshmen.
- Briggs tied her career high with 11 rebounds.
- Florida held its opponent below its scoring average for the 13th time this season.
- Rickards finished with 10 or more points for the third time this season.
- Florida took the floor against its third-straight team ranked in the AP Top 25.
- Four of Florida’s last six opponents have been ranked.