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Gators fall to #14 Bulldogs, 68-56; Conference losing streak now at three

Florida 0-3 against top-15 ranked teams this season
Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 9:46 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The toughest stretch to date for Florida Women’s Basketball continued to get the better of the Gators on Thursday.

Florida (7-4) hosted #14 Miss St. still looking for their first win in Southeastern Conference play. This was the second conference game the Gators played at home - Florida lost its conference home opener 92-67 to #8 Texas A&M on January 3.

Lavender Briggs scored a team high 22 points, including 9 in the fourth quarter, as the Gators futilely played catch up all night against the Bulldogs (7-2). Briggs was 9-21 from the field, including 2-4 on three point attempts. She was also 5-6 from the free throw line.

Faith Dut and Kiera Smith were the only other teammates to score in double figures - each only recording 10 points - as Florida never could sustain the runs needed to pull even with Miss St., falling 68-56. Smith only attempted 7 shots in the game, while Dut was 5-12.

Nina Rickards and Kristina Moore were a combined 3-8 on the night as the starting five for Florida was no match for the Bulldogs. Jordan Merritt had the only field goal of the game from the bench, finishing with just three points.

This was the third straight loss for the Gators on the season, in conference, and to a top -15 ranked opponent. The 12 point loss was the smallest margin of defeat for Florida against an SEC foe. The orange and blue had lost by an average of 20 points against #5 South Carolina and #8 Texas A&M.

Another troubling trend that continues to cripple Florida is the team’s poor shooting. This was the third consecutive game the Gators shot 37% or worse from the field. It was also the team’s worst showing from beyond the arch, shooting just 14 percent on 2-14 attempts.

The Gators will need to look in the mirror and figure out how to drastically improve before the team heads for Athens, Ga. to take on the Bulldogs.

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