The Florida Gators Women’s Basketball team will face Florida State tonight at 6 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee.
Florida leads the series match up 41-32 and is 13-17 in away games.
The game was originally set for last Wednesday; However, after both administrations consulted with medical professionals, both programs agreed to postpone the game.
According to ESPN, a player in the Gators’ program tested positive for Covid-19. Florida did not say which player tested positive, when the test was given, or if any other players were infected.
Moreover, Florida State’s season opener against Florida A&M was canceled after the Rattlers decided to forego the 2020-2021 season. The Gators will be Florida State’s season opener.
On the contrary, Florida State will be selling tickets to tonight’s game. In compliance with Covid-19 safety protocols, fans will be segmented into blocks approximately six-feet apart.
Last Match Up
The Gators and Seminoles last met on Nov. 26, 2019, in an all-out competition of wits and skill.
The two teams battled the first half of the game switching leads effortlessly.
Nonetheless, in the second half, the Gators emerged with high energy and tied the Seminoles 38-38 at the beginning of the third. However, the Gators weren’t able to slow the Seminoles and ended the quarter 46-44 Florida State.
At the start of the fourth, F Kiah Gillespie scored the first five points for Florida State, giving them a 51-44 lead. Florida battled to decrease the growing Florida State lead but was unsuccessful after the Seminoles went on an 8-3 run in the final three minutes.
The Seminoles shot 23% from 3PT, were 3/10 FT and had three players score in double digits with one double-double.
The Gators shot 33% FG, 24% from 3PT and lost to Florida State in rebounds 47-41.
Florida’s record has improved over the last three seasons with new head coach Cam Newbauer. Since hired in 2017, Newbauer improved Florida’s record from 11-19 overall and 3-13 SEC to 15-15 overall and 6-10 in the SEC.
Nevertheless, Florida recently lost the fifth most efficient scorer in Gator history and key player Zada Williams. Williams shot on average 54.7% and is recollected as a versatile powerhouse with her shooting skillset and aggressive playing making.
As a centerpiece for the Gators, Florida must navigate tonight’s game and the new season without Williams.
Florida State is the favorite to win tonight after beating Florida in the last five games.
Florida State lost three of their central players to the draft, Kiah Gillepsie, Nicki Ekhomu and Nausia Woolfolk. Gillepsie and Ekhomu are two of three players who scored double digits on Florida during the last matchup– Gillepsie 17 points, 18 rebounds and Ekhomu 15 points, five assists and four rebounds. Returning player Valencia Myers was the third with 10 points and six rebounds.
Still, Florida State has 10 returning players with experience on Florida’s playing style and is sure to give the Gators a run for their money.