Women’s Basketball Hosts Samford for Third Game of the Season

The Florida Gator women’s basketball team will host the Samford Bulldogs for its third game of the season. The game will be on Saturday with tip-off set for 2 p.m. in Exactech Arena.

The Gators have had a strong season so far winning both of their first games. With an undefeated season so far, the Gators look to extend their winning streak to three.

But freshman guard Brylee Bartram says that their goal is bigger than winning games.

Gators struggling in the first half

The Gators have experienced slow starts in both of their games, struggling to make shots in the first half. However, both times they have come together as a team and put together a strong second half.

In the first game against Grambling State, it wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Gators were able to get and maintain their lead.

But for their home opener, it didn’t take them long to show just how good of a team they are. After ending the first quarter with a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Bertram, the Gators came in and dominated the rest of the game.

Both games have also shown the talent brought by the freshmen class. Bartram ended the game with three 3-pointers while freshman guard Lavender Briggs ended the game with her first career double-double.

The freshmen have combined for 61 points in these last two games, which has been the most by an incoming class since their 2002-2003 season.

Some returners have also contributed to the strong start to the season. Redshirt junior Kiki Smith is averaging 12.5 points per game, 8.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.5 steals.

Fifth-year senior Zada Williams has been scoring double digits in both games.

Gameday Preview

This will be the second time the Gators face the Bulldogs, the last time being back in the 2011-2012 season. In this meeting, the Gators came out on top with an 81-56 victory.

Even though this is the second time the program has faced Samford, it will be the first time for head coach Cam Newbauer. But even though he has yet faced the team, Newbauer is indeed familiar with their head coach, Carley Kuhns.

Kuhns was Newbauer’s assistant coach back when he coached for the Belmont Bruins.

“She does a really good job with how they scheme and what they run, what they’ll do from an offensive standpoint and a defensive standpoint.”

Samford started their season with a 1-2 record. Both of their losses have been close, only losing by single digits.

Even though this is Kuhns’ first year as a head coach, the Bulldogs’ roster is still familiar after only losing one player.

On this roster, they have four returning starters including Natalie Armstrong who averaged a team-best 10.3 points per game. Guard Paige Serup also returns after starting all 30 games for Stamford last year.

But even with a lot of returners, Maryland transfer Sarah Meyers might be their strongest player yet. Meyers averages 17.7 points per game and 7.7 rebounds.

About Camila Maffuz

Camila is a senior at the University of Florida, who served as a beat writer for the women's basketball team from 2019 until the 2021 season. She was also a beat writer for the Gators football team during the 2020 season. Camila is also WUFT's news director as well as a sports reporter/anchor.

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