Gators
The Gators women's basketball team huddles up before its game against the Ole Miss Rebels on Thursday, February 15, 2024 at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, FL / UAA Communications photo by Madilyn Gemme

Gators Women Travel To Kentucky on NCAA Tournament Bubble

The Florida Gators women’s basketball team has been up-and-down this season. However, the team still has a solid chance to secure a spot in March Madness.

The Gators (13-10, 4-7 SEC) have just five games left in their season, all against unranked opponents.

The first of those games takes place Sunday against Kentucky (9-16, 2-9) at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Tip-off is set for noon (SEC Network, ESPN Gainesville 98.1-FM / 850-AM).

Offense

The Gators rank fourth in the SEC in scoring with 76.4 points per game. Leading the charge are guards Aliya Matharu and Leilani Correa, who are each among the top five scorers in the conference.

Center Ra Shaya Kyle also has the second-best field goal percentage in the SEC at 58.1%.

Kentucky’s offense is ranked 13th in the SEC with 65.4 points per game. Forward Ajae Petty is the team’s premier scorer with 14.5 points per game and a field goal percentage of 52.9%, which ranks fourth in the conference.

Defense

Neither of the two teams are strong defensively.

The Gators’ defensive rating is 92.0, which ranks 224th in the nation. When their shots are not falling, the Gators can easily fall behind since it can be difficult at times for them to get stops on defense. For example, take their overtime loss against Ole Miss on Thursday night.

Despite leading by as much as 16 points in the first half, the Gators failed to close the game because they couldn’t get a needed stop on defense. The visiting Rebels outscored the Gators 13-3 in the overtime period.

Kentucky’s defensive rating is even worse at 101.0, which is 339th in the nation.

The Wildcats have lost by 20 or more points seven times this season, including by a whopping 62 to top-ranked South Carolina.

Rebounding

The Gators are 11th in the SEC in rebounding, while Kentucky sits in last.

Kyle is Florida’s leading rebounder with 9.2 per game. Though, she has played just 14 games this season due to injury.

Petty is third in the SEC in rebounds per game with 10.6, but outside of her the Wildcats struggle off the glass.

 

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