The final stretch of Florida women’s basketball’s regular season continues Sunday afternoon with another tough test against No. 5 Louisiana State. The Gators have dropped their last four Southeastern Conference games and have fallen to 3-10 in conference play. After falling to undefeated South Carolina Thursday, the task does not get much easier with LSU coming to town. The Tigers are 24-1 overall and 12-1 in SEC play. Their only loss came to — who else — the Gamecocks last Sunday.
Last Time Out
Florida was held to 33% shooting Thursday night on the road against No. 1 South Carolina in an 87-56 loss. The Gamecocks were in control from start to finish, taking a 29-15 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looking back. South Carolina’s defense was also on full display, as they held the Gators to just six points in the second quarter. Florida had a slight resurgence in the second half, but it was not enough to mount any sort of comeback.
Nina Rickards paced the Gators with 16 points. while freshman Myka Perry put up 10. The Gamecocks had four players reach double-digit points, with Zia Cooke leading the way with 22.
Final from Columbia.#GoGators | @WellsFargo pic.twitter.com/JIS3KgZzkE
— Gators Women’s Basketball (@GatorsWBK) February 17, 2023
The Gators have not been able to live up to the hype put forth by last season’s success. Despite the emergence of transfers KK Deans and Ra Shaya Kyle, the team has struggled to find an identity. The last four games have showcased Florida’s struggles. Each one ended with a double-digit deficit, and the last two against Georgia and South Carolina were 30-point defeats. Florida’s last win came against SEC cellar dweller Texas A&M Feb. 2.
Deans has put up 13.5 points per game, with Rickards and Leilani Correa just behind at 12.2 and 11.7 respectively.
The last time Florida faced LSU, the Gators were in the midst of last season’s magical run. The Gators edged out the Tigers at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center 73-72.
LSU On the Rise
Angel’s fourth 20/20 game and first 30/20 game of the season! pic.twitter.com/mlQIbtnqPA
— LSU Women's Basketball (@LSUwbkb) February 17, 2023
The Tigers continue to make strides in their second season under the guidance of legendary coach Kim Mulkey. LSU rattled off 23 consecutive wins before their loss to South Carolina. Angel Reese is LSU’s main offensive weapon, leading the time by a wide margin with 23.7 points per game. Reese is coming off an incredible performance Thursday versus Ole Miss, when she put up 36 points and 20 rebounds. Alexis Morris and Flau’jae Johnson are also players to watch, as both have averaged more than 12 points per game this season.
Florida vs. LSU tips off at 2 p.m. Sunday at the O’Dome.