Florida Falls on the Road at Top-Ranked South Carolina

Florida women’s basketball battled early, but fell to No. 1 South Carolina on the road, 87-56, on Thursday evening inside Colonial Life Arena.
Florida (14-12, 3-10 SEC) was led offensively by Nina Rickards, who slipped out of a shooting slump to end with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Freshman Myka Perry also had a strong outing, ending with 10 points while matching a career-best with two triples. For the game, UF shot 22-of-66 (33.3%) from the floor and 6-of-13 (46.2%) from the field. South Carolina (26-0, 13-0 SEC) shot 33-of-66 (50%) from the field and 8-of-17 (47.1%) from deep.
Rebounding played a key factor in Thursday’s contest, with the Gamecocks ending with a 55-27 advantage on the glass. The Gators were led by a pair of sophomores in Jeriah Warren and Tatyana Wyche with five each. KK Deans brought down four of her own as well.
Defensively, the Orange & Blue forced 15 turnovers that resulted in eight steals. Nina Rickards tied a season-high with five steals, helping Florida record 10 points off turnovers.
The Gamecocks were led by Zia Cooke with 22 points and Brea Beal with 14 points and seven rebounds.
The Gators battled the No. 1 squad early, responding to each South Carolina spurt to keep within seven, 15-8, at the first media timeout. All four of Florida’s early buckets came in or around the paint, continuing to push the pace in Colonial Life Arena. A 13-2 run over the next four minutes helped South Carolina open-up a 26-10 advantage with 1:37 left in the opening frame before a Myka Perry triple and Deans layup kept Florida within 14, 29-15, at the conclusion of one.
South Carolina used a 22-6 second quarter to blow-open the game and race-off to an 87-56 victory, despite a strong second half effort from Florida that resulted in just a two-point deficit over the final 20 minutes, on Thursday evening.
Up Next
Florida returns home on Sunday, Feb. 19, for their second-straight top-five matchup when No. 5 LSU visits Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for a 2 p.m. ET tip. The game will air live on SEC Network.
Head Coach Kelly Rae Finley
“I was really pleased, we’re not into consolation prizes at Florida, and as a competitor you obviously want to win. Everything that I asked, and our coaching staff asked our team to do, we did. As a coach, that’s always a really good feeling. We were able to make some in-game adjustments and South Carolina is unbeaten for a reason. They’re extremely talented, and they work hard, it’s not just talent. It’s how they work and it’s how they work together while understanding their roles. As a coach, you can appreciate that and as a competitor you can appreciate it as well. I was proud of our team and how we competed, I was proud of our fight and our second efforts.”