The Florida women’s basketball team will be back on their new home floor this weekend to take on South Carolina.
So far this season, the Gators are 9-6 and have lost both of their SEC matchups against Auburn at home and LSU on the road. In the game against LSU, Florida dominated on the boards, out-rebounding the Tigers by 27 but were unable to convert those rebounds into points scoring only 18 second chance points. Florida head coach Amanda Butler was also disappointed in her team’s lack of ball control as they finished the game with 28 turnovers.
The Gators’ next opponent will be a tough contest for a team that is looking to bounce back from a slow start to SEC play. The Gamecocks (12-1, 2-0 SEC) are ranked fifth in the country. Their most recent game was a 73-47 win against Auburn. The victory gave head coach Dawn Staley her 200th win in her ninth season at South Carolina.
The Gamecocks are led by an experienced group of upperclassmen. Juniors A’ja Williams and Kaela Davis lead the team in points per game with 16.4 and 14.4, respectively. And as Auburn learned, they can really punish a defense with the three. In their two SEC matchups, South Carolina is shooting 45.5% from beyond the arc. On the other side of the ball, the defense is keeping their opponents to just 53.5 points per game.
Florida will have to clean up its most recent sloppy play in order to beat the Gamecocks on Sunday. The Gators will look to improve on their amount of turnovers and their ability to score on second chance opportunities. Otherwise, South Carolina will jump on them early in the game which could prove hard to come back from.
The Gators will rely on senior Ronni Williams’ consistency as she leads the team in points per game (18.6), rebounds per game (8.3) and field goal percentage (59.3%). Butler knows her team will have to make adjustments early on in the game, but she believes her team will be ready for the challenge.
The game will take place Sunday at 12 p.m. in Gainesville. It will air on ESPNU and live coverage can be heard on ESPN 98.1 FM.