Florida Travels to Wake Forest for WNIT Second Round

Wake Forest (17-16, 5-13 ACC) vs. Florida (17-14, 5-11 SEC)
Game Information: 
March 20 | 6 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ACC Network Extra
Radio: 98.1FM/850AM WRUF
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
WNIT Info: Tournament Central
Game Notes: Media Center
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – After a thrilling 66-63 victory over Wofford in the opening-round of the WNIT, Florida women’s basketball will head to Winston-Salem, N.C., for a matchup with Wake Forest on Monday evening.
The second round matchup with the Demon Deacons is slated to begin at 6 p.m. ET on ACC Network Extra with Evan Lepler and Stan Lewter on the call. Kyle Crooks and Brittany Davis will handle radio responsibilities on 98.1FM/850AM WRUF.
Florida and Wake Forest will meet for the third time in program history on Monday, with the teams splitting the first two matchups. The Demon Deacons won the last meeting on Dec. 21, 2019, 73-68 at the West Palm Beach Invitational.
The Gators defeated Wofford in a thrilling opening-round matchup of the WNIT, 66-63. Deans played hero ball and drained a fadeaway as the shot clock expired to give Florida a 62-60 lead with 52 seconds before Correa iced the game at the charity stripe. Correa ended with 24 points, while Rickards scored her 1,000th-point with 18 total.
The Gators and Demon Deacons most recently met on Dec. 21, 2019 at the West Palm Beach Invitational. Wake Forest claimed the victory, 73-68, but Florida pulled to within three at 71-68 after Kiara Smith converted a tough layup in the lane with 22 seconds left. Wake Forest’s Ivana Raca sealed the win with a pair of conversions from the charity stripe with two seconds remaining. Lavender Briggs led Florida with 23 points, 19 of which came in the first half.
Nina Rickards became the 27th member of the Florida 1,000-point club after a layup with 6:56 remaining in the fourth quarter against Wofford. The senior helped the Gators to a 66-63 victory over Wofford with an 18-point performance on 9-of-15 shooting night.
Florida is making their ninth appearance in the WNIT, most recently advancing to the second round of the 2021 WNIT after defeating Charlotte, 66-55. The Gators would fall to Villanova in the second round, 77-57. Florida holds a 16-8 all-time mark, including a 7-1 mark in the opening round of the tournament and 4-2 clip in the second round. Florida has twice appeared in the WNIT finals in 1985 (when it was known as the NWIT) and in 2000.
With their selection to the WNIT, Florida has secured their third-consecutive postseason appearance after appearing in the 2021 Postseason WNIT and 2022 NCAA Tournament. Their selection marks the first time of qualifying for three-consecutive postseason tournaments since seven-straight postseason appearances from 2008-2014.
If the season were to end today, KK Deans’ season would go down as one of the best shooting performances in Florida history. The senior has connected on 37.8% of her attempts from three-point range, the fifth-best mark for an individual season in program history. It would also go down as the best individual season from long range by a senior in the Florida record book.
With Florida’s 61-52 victory over Missouri, the Orange & Blue are guaranteed to end the 2022-23 season with a winning record. The win marked the first time since the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons that the Gators have recorded back-to-back seasons with winning records. Also, with 37 victories over the past two campaigns, Florida has tied their largest two-season win total since the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
KK Deans is alone in 11th in Florida history for triples made in a single season at UF, as she currently has made 68 on the year, which is also the fifth-best by a senior. Alberte Rimdal is also looking at one of the best seasons for a sophomore, needing 49 total threes to mark the fifth-best output by a sophomore and she has currently knocked-down 44.
Florida women’s basketball is elite when it comes to getting to the free throw line, knocking down 14.89 per game which is fourth in the SEC and 29th in the nation. They average 20.61 attempts per game, sitting at fourth in the conference and 33rd nationally.
Under the leadership of Kelly Rae Finley, Florida’s defense will always be a point of emphasis. Helping to prove that point, the Gators own a perfect 24-0 mark under Finely when holding opponents to 60 points or less.
Florida likes to get up and down the court on offense, currently holding the 38th-fastest pace in the NCAA with an average of 73.9 possessions per 40 minutes. That pace puts them at third-fastest in the SEC behind Arkansas (74.6) and Kentucky (75.1).