The Florida Gators women’s basketball team suffered an 82-77 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday night. The Bulldogs outscored the Gators 34-20 in the fourth quarter to steal UF’s chance at victory. The Gators now fall to 1-3 in SEC play and 12-5 on the season as a whole.
KK Deans led the Gators in scoring, finishing the night with 21 points, five rebounds and three assists. Nina Rickards also chipped in with 17 points, six assists and five rebounds. For the Bulldogs, Brittney Smith finished with 22 points and three rebounds. Meanwhile, Javyn Nicholson secured a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Gators Fall Apart In Fourth Quarter
Despite the final score, the Gators led for the majority of Sunday’s contest. UF outscored Georgia in the first three quarters of the game and entered the final period with a 57-48 lead. The Gators caught fire early on from beyond the arc, knocking down 12 three-pointers. Deans had an especially impressive afternoon from the field, knocking down five of her nine three-point shot attempts.
However, the Gators also struggled with turnovers and foul trouble throughout the game, especially in the fourth quarter. UF picked up a season-high 29 fouls on the day, including 12 in the fourth quarter alone. The Bulldogs subsequently knocked down 17 free throws in the fourth quarter, allowing them to take over the game. Meanwhile, the Gators had to deal with an increasingly shortened bench due to players fouling out. Four players fouled out for Florida, including Deans, leaving the team extremely short-handed as the game went on.
Nevertheless, the Gators refused to give in. Despite trailing by 10 with just 1:19 to play, UF managed to cut the deficit back down to one point thanks to some late-game heroics from Nina Rickards. Rickards came through with 12 points in the final quarter, including a pair of clutch threes to put her squad back in the game.
Unfortunately, UF’s luck ran out as the clock winded down. The Bulldogs extended their lead back to three points on the subsequent possession. They then forced another turnover and knocked down two more free throws to cap off their victory.
The Gators women’s basketball team will have some time off this week, as their next game will not be until Jan. 15. They will then face off against the Kentucky Wildcats as they hope to rally and improve upon their in-conference performances this season.