KK Deans dribbles up the court in the Gators women's basketball team's win over Prairie View A&M on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Jordan McKendrick.

Gators Advance to WNIT Quarterfinals

KK Deans nailed three straight threes to start the game and the Florida Gators women’s basketball team (19-14) defeated Clemson (19-16) Thursday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the women’s NIT. The Gators were stellar from beyond the arc, connecting on 13 triples (eight in the first half) at a 43.3% clip to propel them to victory.

Phenomenal Offense

Beyond one of the best three-point performances in program history, Florida shot 26/58 (44.8%) from the field and got help from everyone who stepped on the floor.

KK Deans led the way for the Gators with 19 points, six rebounds and four steals. The senior wasn’t the only contributor for Florida.  She was just one of five Gators who scored in double figures on the night. Correa and Rimdal each had 11 while Dut and Rickards both put up 10.

The impressive night shooting wasn’t the only thing going well for Florida offensively, the orange and blue dished out 21 total assists on the night.

Gators Dominate in Second Half for Win

Following nine straight points by Deans to open the night, Clemson and Florida battled in the first quarter. Only one point split them at the end of the first frame.

The three-point barrage continued from the likes of Correa and Rimdal and the Gators held Clemson to just two triples in the first half. Florida was able to take a one point lead into the locker room.

The Gators defense showcased grit in the third quarter. Florida held Clemson to just 10 points in the frame and forced 14 total turnovers in the game. A Taliyah Wyche layup capped off a 12-2 run leading to a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Myka Perry joined the three-point party with one of her own to open up the quarter and Florida didn’t look back. The Gators would hold on for victory.

Next for Florida

The Gators will take on Bowling Green in the WNIT quarterfinals on Monday, March 27.

About Jake Bower

Sophomore journalism major at the University of Florida.

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