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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Gators attempt to leap past Horned Frogs Sunday

Florida faces Texas Christian to close out a four-game road stretch

<p>Kiki Smith (left) and Lavender Briggs (right), pictured during a game against Mizzou game Jan. 28. Smith scored a game-high 28 points for the Gators Sunday.</p>

Kiki Smith (left) and Lavender Briggs (right), pictured during a game against Mizzou game Jan. 28. Smith scored a game-high 28 points for the Gators Sunday.

The Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas hosts a hungry Florida women’s basketball team Sunday fresh off the Gators’ 75-71 loss to George Mason.

The Horned Frogs (3-3) and the Gators (6-3) battle this weekend after both teams encountered tight scoring battles in their previous games. Unlike TCU, Florida was unable to come out on top.

The Patriots handed the Gators their third loss of the season Wednesday night in dramatic fashion, demolishing Florida’s five-game winning streak. 

Florida fought valiantly to cut the Patriots' lead to one after two clutch free throws from junior Nina Rickards in the fourth quarter. But free throws became the difference-maker for George Mason, as the team hit a couple of foul shots of its own to keep a victory just out of Florida's grasp. 

Despite the loss, junior Lavender Briggs finished the game notching her first double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Graduate student Kiara Smith also compiled a thrilling performance culminating in 19 points, four assists, two steals and four boards.

Now, the Gators focus their attention on defeating the Horned Frogs on the road. TCU enters Sunday’s game following a hard-fought home win over Southeastern Louisiana, 55-46. 

The Horned Frogs were down by 11 with a little over five minutes left in the first half, but TCU came back with a vengeance, scoring the final 14 points of the half to lead 24-21 

They displayed great discipline and survived a 15-5 run from the Lions to open up the second half. With its back against the wall, TCU went on a 9-0 run to take the lead with a little over two minutes left. Southeastern Louisiana had nothing left in the tank to overcome another deficit. 

Senior Okako Adika led the charge for the Horned Frogs, scoring 15 points and securing eight rebounds. Graduate student Lauren Heard was not far behind her teammate with 12 points and seven rebounds of her own. 

Florida has not faced off against TCU since December of 2007, when the Gators claimed a challenging 80-76 home victory 

Sunday marks the third time in regular-season history these two teams will hit the hardwood together.

Tip off is set to begin at 2 p.m. and the game can be streamed on ESPN +.

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Contact Brenda Bogle at bbogle@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @bogle_brenda.

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