Gators Open SEC Tournament Against Kentucky on Wednesday

Kentucky (10-18, 2-14 SEC) vs. Florida (16-13, 5-11 SEC)
Game Information: 
Mar. 1 | Approx. 1:30 p.m. ET 
Live Stream: 
SEC Network
Radio: 98.1FM/850AM WRUF
Live Stats: SEC Stats
SEC Info: Championship Central
Game Notes: Media Center
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Florida women’s basketball is slated to begin their Southeastern Conference Tournament journey on Wednesday, March 1, when they meet Kentucky for the second time this season.
The game will air live on the SEC Network at approximately 1:30 p.m. ET, with Eric Frede and Tamika Catchings on the call. Kyle Crooks and Brittany Davis will handle radio duties on 98.1FM/850AM WRUF.
The Gators and Wildcats meet for the 63rd time on Wednesday afternoon, with UK holding a 35-27 all-time advantage. Kentucky won the first matchup this season, rallying from a 16-point deficit to steal a victory in Gainesville, 81-75. 
Florida owns a 23-42 record all-time at the SEC Tournament, most recently going 1-1 during the 2021-22 campaign with a win over Vanderbilt before falling to Ole Miss in the quarterfinals. The Gators enter this season as the 11th-seed after posting a 5-11 mark in conference play. In the first round of the SEC Tournament, the Gators own a 15-15 all-time mark, most recently making the quarterfinals in 2022. 
The Orange & Blue ended the regular season on a two-game winning streak, defeating Mizzou on their senior day, 61-52. Leilani Correa led the way with 17 points and a career-best 16 rebounds as the Gators held the Tigers to 19-of-56 (33.9%) from the field and just 4-of-23 (17.4%) from long range. UF assisted on 16 of 19 made field goals.
Wednesday marks the second meeting of the season between the Wildcats and the Gators, with Kentucky stealing a win in Gainesville on Jan. 15 after rallying from a 16-point deficit for an 81-75 win. KK Deans led the Gators with 21 points, which included five triples, while Nina Rickards added 18 and Ra Shaya Kyle ended with 13. On the glass, Florida held a 45-39 advantage over their opponent, featuring eight boards from both Deans and Kyle, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a tough 15-of -28 showing from the charity stripe.
The last time the Gators were in the first round of the SEC Tournament, Florida took down Auburn, 69-62, on March 3, 2021. Guard Kiki Smith led the way for the Gators with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists in a game that featured seven lead changes, five ties and each team leading for over 10 minutes.
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.
Leilani Correa put together one of the most complete games of her career on Sunday in a 61-52 victory at Missouri, leading the Gators with 17 points, but more importantly bringing-down a career-high 16 rebounds. In addition to getting it done on the glass, the senior dished-out five assists, which also matched a career-best.
Nina Rickards is closing-in on becoming the 27th-member of the Florida 1,000-point club, currently owning 966 career points. The senior has upped her offensive performance during the 2022-23 season, scoring at a career-best clip of 11.6 points per game, which includes a career-high 24 points from a victory at Dayton on Dec. 4, 2022.
KK Deans has moved into a tie for 11th in Florida history for triples made in a single season at UF, as she currently has made 67 on the year. 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 42.
Florida women’s basketball is elite when it comes to getting to the free throw line, knocking down 15.14 per game which is fourth in the SEC and 21st in the nation. They average 21.24 attempts per game, sitting at fourth in the conference and 24th nationally.
After defeating Missouri on Feb. 26, Florida improved to 78th in the NET rankings. All 14 SEC schools sit within the top 122, while South Carolina and LSU sit at first and third, respectively.
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.