Gators Fall on the Road to No. 21 Razorbacks

Box Score | Highlights

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Going up against its fourth-straight AP Top 25 opponent, the University of Florida women’s basketball team (11-9, 2-5) fell on the road to No. 21 Arkansas (16-4, 4-3), 79-57 Sunday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena.

Scoring in double figures for the 17th time this season, freshman guard Lavender Briggs paced the Gators with 17 points and nine rebounds as she fell just shy of another double-double.

Arkansas managed to pull away late but Florida scrapped with the nationally-ranked Razorbacks and trimmed the gap to just five late in the third quarter.

Florida trailed just 54-47 heading into the fourth, but saw the Razorbacks make 10 of their 13 shots in the period and win the frame 25-10.

Junior point guard Kiki Smith, who had just eight points in her last two games combined, also finished in double figures with 10 points. Sophomore Kristina Moore scored eight points and tied her career high with eight rebounds.

The Gators, which lead the SEC in points scored and minutes played by underclassmen this season, saw underclassmen score 43 of their 57 points on the day.

Squaring off with a ranked foe for the fifth time through their seven league games, Florida outrebounded the Razorbacks 34-31 and held a 12-2 edge in second chance points.

Arkansas, one of the nation’s highest-powered offenses, finished below their season scoring but knocked down eight 3-pointers and featured five double-figure scorers. Freshman Makayla Daniels led all scorers with 19 points.

Taking the court for the first time since Jan. 19 at Texas A&M, Florida led 11-10 at the first quarter media timeout as it knocked down five of its first seven attempts to open the game. The Razorbacks turned up the tempo coming out of the break in play and utilized a 16-2 to run to conclude the stanza. After the Gators controlled the pace for the first half of the quarter, Arkansas began to push and score. Arkansas made 11 of its 16 shots, converting at a 68.8 percent clip. UF’s offense was efficient but the Razorbacks built their lead by drilling four 3-pointers in the frame.

The pace began to slow to open the second as the teams combined to make just four of their first 19 shots. UF faced a 15-point deficit but scored 10 unanswered points to cut the lead to just 30-25. Moore played with inspired effort in this stretch, scoring twice on offensive rebounds and put backs and once on a run-out fast break. For the quarter, Florida outscored Arkansas 12-8 and faced a 34-25 deficit at the intermission. The Gators limited the Razorbacks to just 18.8 percent shooting in the period and cut into the lead by battling on the boards. Florida outrebounded Arkansas, 24-18 and collected six offensive rebounds compared to the Razorbacks, 6-3. Second chance points worked in the favor of Florida, as it held a 10-2 advantage.

Moore led all Gators with eight points at the break and possessed a team-best seven boards. After making four of its seven three-point tries in the first, the Razorbacks shot 1-of-7 from three-point range in the second period.

The Razorbacks scored six-straight during a stretch early in the third to extend their advantage back to 15 at 42-27. Arkansas’ lead remained in double-digits until the 3:08 mark when Briggs knocked down technical free throws to make it 48-40. A three-pointer from Ariel Johnson, her first made trey on the road this season, brought the Gators to within five at 48-43. Florida finished the quarter with 22 points compared to Arkansas’ 20.

Florida had just 25 points combined in the first two frames, but erupted for 22 in the third quarter alone as it knifed into the Razorback advantage.

Back came the Razorbacks though as they blitzed back with a 10-2 run to open the fourth. After it made its first four shots of the frame, Arkansas’ lead surged back to 64-49 at the 7:41 mark, prompting a Gator timeout. Florida went without a field goal for four minutes as the Razorbacks began to separate from the Gators.

After trailing by as many as 19 in the quarter, Florida fought back to trim the lead to 13 at 70-57 with under five minutes remaining. A scoring spell hit the Gators again though as the Razorbacks built their lead back to 18 with under two minutes to go.

Freshman Nina Rickards scored nine points and collected four rebounds.

Going up against the conference’s most-potent offensive unit, the Gators held their opponent below their scoring average for the 14th time this season.

The Razorbacks, who were held to a season-low three 3-pointers Thursday vs. Georgia, knocked down eight of their 20 tries from distance. 

All-SEC talent Chelsea Dungee, who entered the game averaging 19.6 points per game, was held to a season-low seven points.

After a lengthy stretch away from home, Florida returns to Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Thursday, Jan. 30 when it hosts LSU.

Thursday, Jan. 30 | 6 p.m. ET
Florida (11-9, 2-5) vs. LSU (14-5, 4-3)
Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center | Gainesville, Fla.


  • Arkansas marked the eighth team Florida has played that qualified for last season’s NCAA Tournament and the seventh team ranked the AP Top 25.
  • Florida’s seven games against AP Top 25 opponents is tied for the highest total in the Southeastern Conference (South Carolina).
  • Moore finished with more points (8) than she had scored in the previous three games.
  • Briggs scored 10 or more points for the 17th time this season.
  • The Gators fall to 28-11 all time vs. the Razorbacks.
  • The Gators have played five ranked opponents in their first seven conference games.
  • For the 12th time, Florida outrebounded its opponent.
  • Playing its second-straight contest against a top 25 on the road, Florida shot a season-best 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.
  • Smith added a double-figure point total for the 15th time this season.

Head Coach Cam Newbauer
Overall thoughts…
“Credit to Arkansas, they made a lot of good adjustments today. When you think of this team, you think of their big three (Chelsea Dungee, Alexis Tolefree and Amber Ramirez). Their big three averaged something like 50 a game and they only had 29 today. Daniels had 19 for them, that was one of the players that had to make shots for them to have success against us and she stepped up and hit them.”

Offensively, we got some good looks but they just didn’t go down. We kept fighting the whole way through and I don’t think the score is indicative of that at all. To be down 15 two times in this game and come back to cut it to five shows how together this team is and I’m proud of the grit we showed. It’s been a tough stretch for us, we just played five of the best six teams in our league in our first seven conference games and that’s especially hard to do with eight freshmen and sophomores. It’s been a tough stretch for us where we are in our schedule and we just have to keep fighting. We just have to believe, keep fighting and keep going. It’s hard to do when you lose, but you have to keep your eyes on the silver lining and the growth process.”

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