Florida Guard Kiki Smith drives past Kentucky Gurad. (photo courtesy of Florida Gators Women's Basketball Instagram)

No. 12 Seeded Gators Kick-Off SEC Tournament Against No. 13 Seed Auburn

The University of Florida Women’s Basketball team will begin its post-season play against Missouri in the SEC Tournament inside the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina at 4 p.m.

Regular Season

The Gators ended its regular season at home for the first time since the 2016-17 season. Florida put up a fight against the No. 17 Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday but was unable to stop their offense which shot 71 percent in the second half. The Gators saw four double-figure scorers including freshmen, Jordyn Meritt and Floor Toonders, who both finished with a career-high 16 points apiece.

The Gators hold a 21-40 record in the SEC Tournament and have gone 3-3 in the first round. Last season Florida had a bye in the first round for the first time in four years but were unable to advance past the No. 7 seed LSU falling 73-59 in the second round. The Gators enter play with a 10-12 overall record, going 3-11 in the conference.

The Tiger have not had much luck this season in the SEC. Auburn enters the game with a 5-18 overall record going 0-15 in the conference.  The Tigers ended their season Sunday with a 88-54 loss to Tennessee. The Tigers were led in scoring and rebounding this season by Senior Unique Thompson, one of the league’s top forwards. Averaging 17.8 points a game, Thompson ranks No. 8 in the SEC.


Entering the Post Season

The league announced Tuesday, Florida’s Lavender Briggs, who led last season’s Gators in the postseason against LSU with 22 points, and Merritt were both awarded SEC Postseason Honors. Briggs landed a spot on the All-SEC Second team while Merritt earned her place on the All-Freshman squad.

The previous matchup between the Gators and the Tigers back in January snapped the Gators’ five-game losing streak. Gators point guard, Kiara Smith, recorded her third double-double of the season. She finished the game with 22 points and 13 rebounds giving the Gators their first conference win. Florida held Auburn to a 27.9 field goal percentage, the lowest they have held an opponent all season.

Auburn leads the all-time series 37-23 but the Gators have come out on top in the last two meetings. The Gators and Tigers last met in the SEC Tournament in 2015 in a 71-49 victory for Auburn in first-round play.

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