Gators Host Lady Bulldogs Sunday on SEC Network

Fresh off its biggest win of the season and its second and final “bye” week, the University of Florida women’s basketball team returns to Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Sunday afternoon to host the Georgia Lady Bulldogs. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET as Florida and Georgia square off for the 75th time.

Date:Sunday, Feb. 9
Time:1 p.m. ET
Matchup:Florida (12-10, 3-6) vs. Georgia (12-11, 3-7)
Location:Gainesville, Fla. | Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell
TV:SEC Network with Eric Frede & Christy Thomaskutty
Live Stats: Here
Radio:WRUF ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM  with Kyle Crooks & Brittany Davis
Game Notes:Florida | Georgia 
Promotions:Alumni Weekend 
Champions of Character recognition
Sunday Sundaes 

As part of Alumni Weekend, the team and staff will be welcoming back several former Gator Greats and the group recognized during an in-game ceremony. Notable alumnae expected to attend are 1984 Olympian Tammy Jackson, WNBA player and All-American Vanessa Hayden and 2019 SEC Legend, Marshae Dotson, amongst others. 
Florida last took the court Sunday, Feb. 2 at No. 13 Kentucky. Florida overcame a 14 point deficit and a slow start offensively to rally back and defeat the nationally-ranked Wildcats on their home court, 70-62. Earning their first victory over a top 25 team since the 2015-16 season, Florida’s offense flourished in the second half as it hung 51 points on the board and connected on seven of 12 three-pointers. Two Gators finished with double-doubles as Lavender Briggs recorded a team-high 18 points and a team-high 13 rebounds while redshirt-senior Zada Williams finished with 12 and 12. Briggs was excellent in the second half as she scored all 18 of her points and knocked down a crucial three-pointer in the final quarter.
Briggs (14.1) and Williams (10.3) are both scoring in double figures on the year along with redshirt-junior Kiki Smith (12.6). Briggs continues to lead all SEC freshmen in scoring and is currently the only the true freshmen on the Power Five ranked in the top 10 in their league in scoring.
Playing five ranked opponents over a six-game span, the Gators have been tasked with an especially challenging conference slate as of late. For the first time since the 2002-03 season, Florida battled six top 25 opponents in its first nine conference games.
With 12 wins, Florida has already surpassed its win total from each of the last two seasons and with three SEC victories, the Gators have matched their total from the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Veteran players and younger contributors alike have helped fuel Florida’s success. Smith and Williams have increased their scoring and rebounding averages while Florida’s younger core continues to play a large role.
The Gators lead the SEC in games played by underclassmen (139) and are third in games started (65). True freshmen and sophomores account for 62 percent of the Gators’ offense.
Georgia enters the matchup with a 12-11 overall record which includes a 3-7 mark in SEC play. The Lady Bulldogs have battled four ranked opponents in their last five games and have dropped four straight. Preseason All-SEC selection Gabby Connally leads UGA in scoring (12.4) and assists (3.8), but missed the team’s most recent matchup against Missouri on Thursday, a 73-65 loss at home. Junior Maya Caldwell also averages double figures at 10.3 per game while six-foot-four junior Jenna Staiti paces the team with 5.6 rebounds per contest. Sunday will mark Georgia’s third game of the week as they also played at Mississippi State on Monday. The Lady Bulldogs are of one of the best free throw shooting teams in the conference as they connect on 73.2 percent of their tries. Eight of UGA’s 12 wins have come at home and it has played to a 2-4 mark in road games.

In her fifth season at the helm, Joni Taylor roams the sidelines for the Lady Bulldogs. Taylor, a graduate of the University of Alabama, has led UGA to at least 15 victories in each of her seasons and twice has won over 20 games. Picked to finish 10th in the SEC preseason poll, UGA enters tied for seventh in the league standings.
Sunday marks the 75th meeting between the Gators and Lady Bulldogs. UF’s series against UGA is its second-longest, trailing just Florida State (76) and dates back to 1977. UGA has had the upper hand over the last two seasons and has won four-consecutive games. In the most recent matchup between the two programs on Feb. 28 of last season, Georgia posted a 69-57 victory in the O’Dome. Williams had a career night, registering 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting.
The Gators’ matchup against Georgia is the first of consecutive home contests for Florida as it hosts Ole Miss Thursday, Feb. 13.

  • In their first nine SEC games, the Gators took on six of the top seven teams in the standings (UK twice). Those teams have a combined record of 108-27.
  • Of Florida’s 10 losses those teams have combined for a 169-57 record (.748 winning percentage) as of Feb. 7.
  • Freshman guard Nina Rickards has really come on strong as of late, she’s averaging 9.4 points per game over her last seven (2.9 in seven prior). Rickards had 12 in UF’s comeback win at UK, including two second half three-pointers and has upped her three-point shooting percentage from .278 to .375 in conference play.
  • Lavender Briggs (35.0) and Kiki Smith (34.6) rank first and second in the SEC in minutes played. Sarah Lowe (2002-06), Florida’s 2020 SEC Legend, holds the all-time mark for minutes played by a freshman at 35.2.
  • Georgia is one of three SEC squads Florida doubles up against, the others are Kentucky and Arkansas.
  • With an average team height of just 5’10”, Florida is undersized especially playing in the rugged SEC. Despite not having the tallest players on the court, Florida’s rebounding has been strong as it ranks in the top half of the league in rebounding. 73 percent of Florida’s rebounds come from the guard position.
  • Briggs’ six double-doubles are the most by any UF freshman since the 2002-03 season when Bernice Mosby notched six.
  • UF has held 15 of its 22 opponents below their season scoring average.
  • In 11 games played at home Ariel Johnson is averaging 9.7 points per game and has knocked down 16 three-pointers.

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