The Gator women’s basketball team wins an SEC battle after defeating the Ole Miss Rebels 74-72. They are now 13-11 overall and 4-7 in conference play.
This game was a battle between these two SEC rivals. The Gators took an early lead and were able to lead by as much as 13 points. But this lead was quickly shortened by the Rebels in the second quarter.
Conference dub ✔️ pic.twitter.com/J0FmyqyOF8
— Gators Women’s Basketball (@GatorsWBK) February 14, 2020
The Gators fought to the end and only lost their lead in the fourth. The Rebels tied the game twice and led for 5:15 minutes.
But Florida’s never-quitting efforts helped them tie the game for the fourth time late in the fourth. After that, a foul by Jayla Alexander sent freshman Lavender Briggs to the free-throw line with 20 seconds remaining.
Briggs made both shots giving the Gators a 72-70 lead. Ole Miss had one last try at tying the game but Florida’s defense stopped the Rebels’ offense and were able to get a steal.
Up next, the Gators will go on the road to face Missouri on Sunday.
Briggs recorded another double-figure-scoring game with 23 points. She was also able to get four assists.
Zada Williams led her team in rebounds, grabbing nine. Briggs was right behind her with eight.
Ole Miss also had three players in the double figures. Redshirt junior guard Deja Cage led her team with 23 points followed by redshirt sophomore guard Mimi Reid who recorded 16. Right behind her was sophomore guard Taylor Smith with 15.
The Gators started strong and every shot they took seemed to go in. Lavender Briggs reached the double digits in this quarter, scoring 10 points. Brylee Bartram followed along with two made treys in the quarter.
The second quarter was very different as not many shots seemed to go in. The Rebels got hot in this quarter as they closed a 13 point Gators lead to as close as two points. The Gators were able to hold on to their lead and finish on the top by four.
Ole Miss outscored Florida in this frame with 18 points compared to the Gators’ eight. As for the third, both teams scored 21.
End of the third. #Gators still in the lead with a 56-53 score as we go to the last quarter
— Camila Maffuz (@CamilaMaffuz) February 14, 2020
The last frame of the game had everyone on the edge of their seat. In this quarter, the game was tied four times and there were four lead changes.
With the game tied at 72 with 20 seconds remaining, it was still anyone’s game. But Ole Miss’ Alexander fouled Briggs, sending her to the free-throw line.
Briggs making both shots increased the Gators’ chances of winning but what sealed the deal was Lavender’s third steal of the game with one second remaining.
Both teams gave a good fight but at the end it was the Gators who came out victorious in this battle. They will try to continue getting SEC wins when they travel to Missouri to face the Tigers.