Florida Gators guard Zippy Broughton drives to the basket against St. John's Red Storm guard Unique Drake during the second half Thursday on Billy Donovan Court at the O'Connell Center. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun]

St. John’s Ends Florida Women’s Basketball Season

Not the way you would want to end your season. But it happened.

The Florida Gators women’s basketball team suffered a tough loss in round one of the WBIT against St. John’s, 79-60, at the O’Connell Center on Thursday. This Gators’ season ends at 16-16.

The Red Storm (18-14) were led by senior guard Unique Drake’s 37 points.

Aliyah Matharu scored 23 points for three seed UF, whose seniors Zippy Broughton, Leilani Correa and Faith Dut all combined for only 12 points.

Red Hot Red Storm

There is hot. Then there is St. John’s in the first quarter against Florida hot.

The Red Storm got to work right off the jump by finding their way inside. Over the top passes had the Gators scrambling for answers.

Offensively, the Gators were able to keep up for a bit by going on a 6-of-7 field-goal run to combat their opponent’s 7-7 FG run. However, St. John’s was lighting Florida up from the field by going on a 6-0 run and shooting 82% (9-11) for a 10-point lead.

But Laila Reynolds forced her way to the mid-range and was able to put up 10 points in the quarter to bring the deficit to five, 23-18. For the Red Storm, Drake had 10 as well.

Open Up The Flood Gates

 

https://twitter.com/StJohnsWBB/status/1770958426321084864

Florida started the second quarter with a 2:02 drought, which allowed St. John’s to slowly pull away. The Red Storm forced the Gators to commit seven first-half turnovers that they converted to eight points.

St. John’s took over, especially inside as it outscored Florida 26-16 in the paint in the first half. The lead would stretch to as much as 20 points, but Florida would close the quarter to bring five back, 44-29.

Over Before You Know It

The third and fourth quarters were a blur for the Gators.

Drake continued to pile on in the second half by scoring 19 of her 37. Florida could not get back into the game due to poor shooting from downtown (2-11). On the other hand, St. John’s shot a stellar 52% from the field in the half. By the time the third quarter was over, the Gators found themselves down 61-38.

Just like the third, the fourth was exactly the same. Drake continued to cook Florida’s defense. The Gators could not score efficiently.

Up Next

It’s back to drawing the board for the Gators, whose ’24 recruiting class ranks 10th in the nation

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