Gators to Honor Three Seniors on Thursday Against Alabama

Alabama (20-7, 9-5 SEC) vs. Florida (14-13, 3-11 SEC)
Game Information: 
Feb. 23 | 6 p.m. ET 
Live Stream: 
SEC Network+
Radio: 98.1FM/850AM WRUF
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Game Notes: Media Center
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida women’s basketball will remain at home this Thursday, Feb. 23, when they welcome Alabama to Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for a 6 p.m. ET matchup.
The game will air live on SEC Network+ with Kyle Crooks and Brittany Davis on the call, while Tom Collett and Kelly Davis will handle radio responsibilities on 98.1FM/850AM WRUF.
The 2022-23 group of seniors has played a key role in reviving the Gators’ women’s basketball program. Faith Dut and Nina Rickards were crucial in helping Florida reach the NCAA Tournament last season, marking their first appearance in the big dance since the 2015-16 season. Collectively, the group has played a role in securing 62 victories and counting, which includes two postseason appearances in the 2020-21 WNIT and 2021-22 NCAA Tournament. Over the last two seasons, they’ve helped Florida achieve their largest two-season win total since the 2016 and 2017 seasons, while also helping the Orange & Blue crack the top-25 for the first time since the 2015-2016 campaign. This season, the three seniors account for 45% of Florida’s offensive production and 46% of the Gators’ steals defensively.
The Gators and Crimson Tide meet for the 64th time on Thursday, with Alabama holding a slim 33-30 series advantage. The Gators snapped a two-game skid to Alabama last season, winning 85-77 in Tuscaloosa.
Thursday will mark the first meeting between the Gators and Crimson Tide this season, with Florida claiming the lone matchup during the 2021-22 season, 85-77, in Tuscaloosa. The Gators used a 30-19 fourth quarter to secure the victory, led by 17 points from Alberte Rimdal who knocked down a perfect 5-of-5 from deep. Faith Dut, who’s 10 third quarter points helped spark a comeback, ended with her career-high of 14 points. Florida’s 27-10 bench advantage played a pivotal role in the road victory.
Nina Rickards is closing-in on becoming the 27th-member of the Florida 1,000-point club, currently owning 951 career points. The senior has upped her offensive performance during the 2022-23 season, scoring at a career-best clip of 11.9 points per game, which includes a career-high 24 points from a victory at Dayton on Dec. 4, 2022.
With two games remaining in the regular season, a win from the Gators against either Alabama or Missouri would secure a winning record in the regular season. That accomplishment would give the Orange & Blue back-to-back regular season winning records for the first time since the 2012-13/2013-14 seasons.
Florida likes to get up and down the court on offense, currently holding the 39th-fastest pace in the NCAA with an average of 74.7 possessions per 40 minutes. That pace puts them at fourth-fastest in the SEC behind Auburn (74.8), Arkansas (75.0) and Kentucky (75.0).
Florida women’s basketball is elite when it comes to getting to the free throw line, knocking down 14.78 per game which is fourth in the SEC and 31st in the nation. They average 20.78 attempts per game, sitting at fifth in the conference and 32nd nationally.
After falling to No. 5 LSU on Feb. 19, Florida moved to 85th in the NET rankings. All 14 SEC schools sit within the top 125, while South Carolina and LSU sit at first and fourth, respectively.
KK Deans broke into the top-15 for triples made in a single season at UF, as she currently has made 60 to break into the record book. 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 38.
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 23-0 mark under Finely when holding opponents to 60 points or less.