Top-Ranked Test at South Carolina Awaits Gators

No. 1 South Carolina (25-0, 12-0 SEC) vs. Florida (14-11, 3-9 SEC)
Game Information: 
Feb. 16 | 7 p.m. ET 
Live Stream: 
SEC Network+
Radio: 98.1FM/850AM WRUF
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Game Notes: Media Center
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Florida women’s basketball will have their biggest test of the season on Thursday when they meet No. 1 South Carolina in Columbia for a 7 p.m. ET matchup.
Dave Weinstein and Brett Ball will be on the call on SEC Network+, while Kyle Crooks and Brittany Davis will handle radio responsibilities on 98.1FM/850AM WRUF.
The Gators and Gamecocks meet for the 43rd time on Thursday evening, with the all-time series sitting at 22-20 in favor of South Carolina. Last season, South Carolina won the lone match, 62-50, after a tough start from the field for Florida.
Thursday marks the first meeting of the season between the Gamecocks and the Gators. Last season, Florida was able to keep it close with the top-ranked Gamecocks, falling 62-50 in Gainesville, after being unable to overcome a 19-3 first quarter deficit. Kiara Smith led the Gators with 22 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal while the Florida defense made the Gamecocks uncomfortable, holding the opposition to 20-of-56 (35.7%) from the field and 3-of-13 (23.1%) from deep. The Orange & Blue also forced South Carolina into 21 turnovers, their second highest number of the season.
Florida will meet back-to-back top-five teams this week when they travel to No. 1 South Carolina on Thursday before hosting No. 5 LSU on Sunday, Feb. 19. This marks the first time in school history that the Gators have had to face-off with two top-five opponents in consecutive games during the regular season, and is just the second time it has ever happened. Florida met No. 5 Louisiana Tech and No. 2 Old Dominion in back-to-back games of the 1997 NCAA Tournament.
The Gators will meet a team ranked No. 1 for the 12th time on Thursday evening, still in search of their first victory over a top-ranked team. Florida has seen a top-ranked South Carolina team three times, falling by just 12 points on Jan. 30, 2022. Against top-five opponents, the Gators hold a 7-65 mark, with their last victory coming on Feb. 26, 2006 at Tennessee in overtime, 95-93.
Florida likes to get up and down the court on offense, currently holding the 38th-fastest pace in the NCAA with an average of 74.7 possessions per 40 minutes. That pace puts them at third-fastest in the SEC behind Arkansas (75.2) and Kentucky (75.5).
Florida women’s basketball is elite when it comes to getting to the free throw line, knocking down 15.04 per game which is fourth in the SEC and 27th in the nation. They average 21.16 attempts per game, sitting at fourth in the conference and 27th nationally.
After falling to Georgia on Feb. 12, Florida fell to 92nd in the NET rankings. All 14 SEC schools sit within the top 111, while South Carolina and LSU sit at first and third, respectively.
KK Deans broke into the top-15 for triples made in a single season at UF, as she currently has made 55 to break into the record book. 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 36.
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.