The Sunshine State rivalry continues tonight at 6 p.m. for women’s basketball. The Florida Gators will travel to Tallahassee to meet the Seminoles for their third regular season game.
The Gators lead the series 43-35, and during their meeting last season, Florida came away triumphant with a 69-55 victory.
What does UF look like?
The Gators are coming off a dominating win against UNC Asheville on Sunday. The team won 86-40 at home. Although it’s early in the season, Florida has proved to be a strong defensive team.
They forced 35 turnovers from Asheville and had 52 rebounds, with 21 of the 52 coming off the offensive glass. Leilani Correa is the offensive leader for the team, earning 17 points on Sunday. Five players earned double digits in scoring against Asheville led by Correa and followed by Kirsten Deans, Ra Shaya Kyle, Jordyn Merritt and Nina Rickards.
In the postgame interview, head coach Kelly Rae Finley said, “Anytime you can force 35 turnovers, that means that all five players are on the same page.” She went on to say that over the summer, working as a team was one of their main training goals.
Florida State is a strong host
Florida State will have the home advantage against Florida. The Seminoles have beat Florida in each of the last six meetings on their court. They have also won eight of the last ten matchups since 2012.
On Tuesday, freshman Ta’Niya Latson was recognized as ACC’s player of the week as well as the Rookie of the Week. She leads her conference averaging 27 points per game over the last three regular season games.
The team is ranked fifth nationally in blocks, averaging eight per game. They will also enter the game as the ACC’s highest scoring team, averaging 89.3 points per game.
Head coach Brooke Wyckoff will meet the gators for the 17th time, as she was both an athlete for FSU and on the staff. Wyckoff said she is happy with her team so far this season and says they have a great mix of players.
Wyckoff says there’s a “standard of excellence” for the team and that their goal is to go as far as they can in the NCAA tournament each year.
Coach Wycoff also commends the rivalry, saying she respects both Florida and the players. She says it’s fun to play with two elite programs.
As it’s a classic rivalry, the result of tonight’s game could swing either way. Both Florida and FSU will have to play at the top of their game.