Florida guard Zippy Broughton (4) drives against South Carolina guard Bree Hall (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Youngblood)

Florida Women’s Hoops Fall to Top-Ranked South Carolina at Home

A rough start in the opening quarter put the Florida women’s basketball team behind early and although fighting to the end, the Gators fall at home to top ranked South Carolina 62-50 in the O’Connell Center.Β  The Gamecocks (20-1, 8-1 SEC) win snapped Florida’s five-game winning streak.

Sunday’s showing of over 5,000 fans in the Exactech Arena was the largest crowd since the 1999 season. Unfortunately, the screaming fans showing support for their ladies couldn’t muster a win for the home team. South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks have won three consecutive road games.

Florida coach Kelly Rae Finley said it was great to see so many people at the game and she’s excited on the future of the program moving forward.

Florida Gators (15-6, 5-3 SEC)

An improvement of play in the second half for Florida, wasn’t enough as they trailed by double-digits for almost the entirety of the game.

Carolina’s Aliyah Boston led the way with 13 points, shooting 4-of-12 from the field. The junior forward also made her presence on the glass known, grabbing an impressive 19 rebounds. For the game, the Gamecocks doubled the Gators in the rebounding column, 56-to-28.

Also, senior guard Kiara Smith had a valiant effort on the offensive end for Florida, scoring a game-high 22 points, shooting 10-for-22 from the floor. Zippy Broughton also scored in double figures adding a nice 11 points.

For the Orange and Blue, the sluggish start came at an unforeseen time as they may have pulled off the upset if they could’ve capitalized on some early opportunities.

Florida shot a disappointing 1-for-19 from the field in the first period while the Gamecocks only took 11 field goals. However, it was enough as the Gators trailed 19-3 heading into the second quarter. From there, the rough shooting from the field continued as they shot 27.3 percent in the second quarter.

The Gamecocks headed to half with 33-13 lead. Finley talks about the team’s performance in the first half.

Coming out of the locker room, a comeback had a hint of hope as Smith started to pick up the scoring for the Gators. The veteran guard scored 12 in the third quarter, and the Gators made a 15-3 run in the period.

But, the steady and calm Gamecocks made just enough plays in the fourth to come out of Gainesville unscathed.

Looking Ahead

Now, Florida looks to bounce back as they face off against the Tennessee Volunteers back at the O’Connell Center on Thursday, February 3.Β  Something Finley and the Gators can carry over from Sunday’s outing, is their defense. The Gamecocks had a total of 21 turnovers while Florida only had 11.

Tip off against the Volunteers is set at 6 p.m.

About Curtis Michaud

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