The Gators women's basketball team defeats Miami 76-73 in overtime on December 11, 2022. Photo courtesy of @GatorsWBK via Twitter.

Gators Women’s Hoops Defeat Canes in Overtime, Improve to 10-1

It was a Sunshine State showdown on Sunday, as the Florida Gators women’s basketball team paid a visit to the Miami Hurricanes for the first time in 12 years. In the end, the Lady Gators came out on top in a 76-73 win in overtime. Florida is now 10-1 on the season after continuing its hot streak with an eighth consecutive win.

Gators Top Canes in Overtime

With 38 seconds remaining in the fourth, a KK Deans jumper brought the Gators back out in front with a one-point lead.

Following, Canes guard Ja’Leah Williams responded with a layup before a foul on Miami forward Lola Pendande sent Gators guard Nina Rickards to the line. Rickards kept Florida in the game, hitting two clutch free throws, tying the game at 65 and sending the contest into overtime.

The first seven points of overtime were made from the free throw line until Rickards completed a layup for the Gators. Florida now led 70-69 with 3:04 remaining in the frame. Following a missed layup, forward Lazaria Spearman got her own rebound and brought it to the bucket on a jump shot, giving Miami a 71-70 lead.

After being sent to the line twice, Deans hit four crucial free throws, securing a 76-73 victory for Florida. The Gators chomped their way off the court, celebrating eight-straight wins for the Orange and Blue.

Cavinder Commands Contest for Canes

The Gators struck first as Deans gave Florida an early 5-0 lead. Florida remained on top until Canes guard Haley Cavinder swished a three, tying the game at 12.

After a three from Miami forward Destiny Harden, Cavinder hit one of her own and followed with another two points. Despite an early lead, the Gators trailed the Canes 20-17 at the end of the opening frame.

Florida failed to take back the lead in the second quarter. A three from Florida guard Leilani Correa gave the Gators a 10-0 burst, but the Canes hung onto a 29-27 lead with 2:46 remaining in the second quarter.

Furthermore, Cavinder continued to put on a show for the Canes. The Mountain West transfer tallied 16 points, shooting 4-4 from the three in the first half.

Miami held a  30-27 advantage at halftime. The Green and Orange would continue to lead the Gators until the 38-second mark in the fourth.

Numbers to Note

  • Cavinder led the Canes, scoring 25 points on the night and shooting 10-14 from the field. Cavinder also led Miami with six assists, while Spearman recorded 11 rebounds for the Canes.
  • Meanwhile, Rickards led Florida’s scoring efforts with 23 points, shooting 10-14 from the field. Rickards also led the Gators in rebounds with seven, while Florida guard Alberte Rimdal led the Gators in assists with three.
  • Both teams finished with a total 41 rebounds. Florida shot 42.6% from the floor and 23.8% from the three. On the other side of the court, the Canes shot 39.1% from the floor and 32% from the three.
  • The Gators are now 10-1 on the season, while the Canes are 7-4.
  • Florida’s 10-1 record marks the best since the 2015-16 campaign, where the Gators recorded a 12-1 opening start.
  • Sunday’s win snaps a two-game losing skid to Miami in the all-time series, with the two teams last meeting on March 21, 2010.

About Ellie Shreve

Ellie is a third-year sports and media journalism major at the University of Florida.

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