Gators Back in Gainesville for Matchup with LSU

After 14 days away from home, the University of Florida women’s basketball team returns to Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Thursday, Jan. 30 to host LSU. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. ET as the Gators take on the 14-5 Tigers.

Date:Thursday, Jan. 30
Time:6 p.m. ET
Matchup:Florida (11-9, 2-5) vs. RV LSU (14-5, 4-3)
Location:Gainesville, Fla. | Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell
TV:SECNetwork+ with Kyle Crooks & Brittany Davis
Live Stats: Here
Radio:WRUF ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM  with Tom Collett and Kelly Davis
Game Notes:Florida LSU 
Promotions:Buy One, Get One Free Tickets
Free orange t-shirts for the first 200 fans
Emanuely de Oliveira Player Day

The Gators are fresh off a four-game stretch in which they took on four-straight AP Top 25 teams (No. 14 Kentucky, No. 24 Tennessee, No. 12 Texas A&M and No. 21 Arkansas).
After back-to-back games away from home, the Gators will look to the friendly confines of the O’Dome to help them return to the their winning ways, a place where they have posted seven of their 11 wins.
Competing day in and day out the nation’s most challenging conference, this time of the year is always a grind for Southeastern Conference teams, but Florida’s first month of competition has been especially daunting. For the first time since the 2002-03 season, Florida battled five top 25 foes in its first seven league games.
Florida (11-9, 2-5) is being paced offensively by freshman guard Lavender Briggs. Briggs, who leads all SEC freshmen in scoring at 13.8 points per game, has scored in double figures in 17 of her 19 games played and has notched a team-best five double-doubles.
Briggs is one of eight underclassmen for Florida, which leads the conference in games played by underclassmen and ranks second in games started. True freshmen and sophomores have accounted for 61 percent of UF’s offensive production.
Two veteran transfers, Zada Williams and Kiki Smith continue to provide strong minutes and leadership. Both average double figure points and Smith leads the club in assists (3.1) while Williams’ 7.2 rebounds per game are tops on the team. 

20 games in, Florida enters the matchup with an 11-9 record. Last season Florida’s mark stood at 5-15.

Florida’s last game action occurred this past Sunday at No. 21 Arkansas. The Gators twice slashed 15 point deficits down to five, but couldn’t keep pace in the fourth quarter when the Razorbacks pulled way. Briggs led the way with 17 while Smith, scoring in double figures for the 15th time, added 10.
The Tigers enter Thursday tied for fourth in the SEC standings. LSU, like Florida, has been tasked with a tough stretch of conference games as of late and has battled three-straight AP Top 25 foes in Mississippi State, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Tigers dropped two of the three, but posted a win against Kentucky and in their setbacks, fell by a combined nine points.
A trio of upperclassmen pace the Tigers offensively in Ayana Mitchell, Khayla Pointer and Faustine Aifuwa. Mitchell, a preseason All-SEC First Team selection, averages a team-best 14.9 points per game to go with a team-high 9.2 rebounds. The redshirt-senior is the only player in the SEC to rank top six in the league in rebounding and scoring and paces all of NCAA Division I with a .711 field goal percentage. Pointer also averages double figures (14.5) and ranks top five in the SEC in assists (4.5). The Tigers have seen nine players start a game this season and Mitchell, Pointer and Aifuwa are the only three to have started all 19 contests. LSU, which is receiving votes in both the AP and Coaches polls, allows just 57.4 points per game. LSU has three top 15 wins on the season.
In her ninth season at LSU, head coach Nikki Fargas leads the Tigers. The Tennessee graduate has qualified for six NCAA Tournaments in Baton Rouge and posted a 72-36 record at UCLA before taking the post at LSU in 2011.
LSU owns a 29-14 advantage in the all-time series and has posted wins in three-consecutive meetings. Eight of UF’s victories have come at home and its last win over the Tigers came back on Feb. 25, 2016 in the O’Connell Center.
Following Thursday’s tilt, the Gators head to No. 13 Kentucky Sunday, Feb. 2.


  • Florida and No. 1 South Carolina are the only teams in the SEC to have played seven AP Top 25 opponents this season. The Gators have faced off against eight teams that qualified for last season’s NCAA Tournament also.
  • Of Florida’s nine losses those teams have combined for a 140-39 record (.782 winning percentage) as of Jan. 28. 
  • Lavender Briggs’ 13.8 points per game average is the highest by a UF rookie through their first 19 games in 28 years. 
  • The Gators lead the SEC in games played by underclassmen (126) and rank second in games started (60). UF is top four in the league in points scored by freshmen (470), points scored by underclassmen (762), games started by freshmen (30), games played freshmen (75) and games played by sophomores (51). 
  • UF has held 14 of its 20 opponents below their season scoring average.
  • Sophomore Kristina Moore stuffed the stat sheet at Arkansas this past Sunday. The Australian tied her career high in rebounds (8) and assists (4) while also scoring eight points. Moore helped ignite UF’s comeback in the second quarter but foul trouble limited her to just 18 minutes. 
  • The Gators are outscoring their opponents 338-301 in the quarter, their best scoring margin in any quarter so far this season. Florida has won 14 of its 20 second quarters this season.
  • In 11 games played at home Ariel Johnson is averaging 10.2 points per game and has knocked down 16 three-pointers. 
  • Briggs has been one of the most dependable players on the squad this season, averaging 34.9 minutes per contest. Sarah Lowe (2002-06), Florida’s 2020 SEC Legend, holds the all-time mark for minutes played by a freshman at 35.2.
  • Briggs’ five double-doubles are the most by any UF freshman since the 2002-03 season when Bernice Mosby notched six.
  • UF has outrebounded its opponent in 12 games and is 10-2 when doing so.

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