Gators Women's Basketball
Gators 61, Tigers 52 Photo by Emma Bissell

Gators Women’s Basketball Tops Missouri 61-52

Florida Gators Women’s Basketball wrapped up its regular season on a high note, defeating the Missouri Tigers on the road 61-52. The Gators end the regular season slate 16-13 overall and 5-11 in the Southeastern Conference.

Leilani Correa led the way Sunday with her first double-double of the season, scoring 17 points and garnering 16 rebounds. KK Deans added 13 points.

The win gave Florida a strong finish to the SEC schedule. The Gators were stuck in a five-game losing streak before defeating Alabama on Thursday.

Despite outshooting the Gators, the Tigers could not recover from a rough second quarter where they only scored six points. Florida made its mark on second-chance points, running over Missouri 18-2 in that department.

Slow Start

Florida found itself down early, losing 17-11 at the end of the opening quarter after shooting three of 16.

Deans and Correa sunk triples early on to help the Gators take a 9-6 lead. Missouri bounced back late in the quarter, embarking on an 11-0 run in the final six minutes.

Gators Take Control

Florida’s incredible second quarter forced the Tigers to play catch-up for the rest of the game.

The Gators outscored Missouri 19-6 behind eight points from Correa, including two three-pointers that helped Florida take the lead. Florida tied the game a 17 on a fast break by Myka Perry and took its first lead when Nina Rickards made a layup on the next possession.

Alberte Rimdal nailed a three-ball shot and Faith Dut scored her first points late in the quarter to give Florida a 30-23 lead at the half.

Coasting to Victory

Ra Shaya Kyle‘s buckets early in the third quarter opened up Florida’s lead to 11.

Strong rebounding by Jordyn Merritt and Rickards helped limit the Tigers to 14 points in the frame. Deans punctuated the third quarter with a long three-pointer from the logo to give the Gators a 46-37 lead heading into the finale.

The fourth quarter was evenly split, with both teams racking up 15 points each.

Rimdal hit two more clutch three-pointers to wipe off any momentum Missouri built. Her first came with 6:21 on the clock to give the Gators another double-digit advantage. Her last one was Missouri’s final nail in the coffin. With 1:42 to go, Rimdal’s three gave Florida a 12-point lead, its largest of the game.

What’s Next?

With the regular season now in the history books, Kelley Rae Finley’s squad sets its sights on the SEC tournament. Florida faces Kentucky in the opening round Wednesday. The Gators lost in the quarterfinal round last year to Ole Miss, while Kentucky upset South Carolina in the championship game.

Back in January, Kentucky took down the Gators 81-75.

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