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Monday, April 22, 2024
Florida guard Leilani Correa brings the ball down the court in the Gators' 83-55 victory against the Florida A&M Rattlers Monday, Nov. 7, 2022.
Florida guard Leilani Correa brings the ball down the court in the Gators' 83-55 victory against the Florida A&M Rattlers Monday, Nov. 7, 2022.

Gators senior guard Leilani Correa scored the first basket of the second quarter. 

The shot accounted for Florida’s only points of the quarter. The Auburn Tigers outscored the Gators 14-2 in the quarter en route to an 11-point UF loss. 

The Florida Gators (13-8, 2-6 SEC) were defeated by the Tigers (13-8, 3-6 SEC) 66-55 on the road Monday night. The Gators finished 26.9% from the field and 45.5% from deep. Correa was the only Florida player to score in double figures; she had 16 points on 6-11 shooting.

UF failed to convert on 2-point attempts, and 10 of the Gators' 18 makes came from beyond the arc. 

Florida senior guard KK Deans heaved a triple on UF’s first possession and hit the shot through contact. She made her free throw to convert the four-point play.

The Tigers rattled off the next two scores and later pushed ahead. The Gators responded with a 7-0 run. Senior forward Faith Dut sparked the scoring spurt with a layup and a 3-pointer on the next possession. 

Florida kept Auburn off the scoreboard for three minutes before Tigers guard Aicha Coulibaly hit a free throw to end the drought. 

The Gators continued to attack Auburn from beyond the arc. Deans drove inside and kicked the ball out to Correa, who knocked down a wide-open triple. 

The Tigers scored six straight to cut their deficit to three points near the end of the opening quarter. Florida sophomore guard Alberte Rimdal raced to the rim and finished a layup in the final seconds to give UF an 18-13 lead after one quarter.

The Gators started the second quarter with a layup from Correa. She made a backdoor cut and found space for the score.

Both teams struggled at the start of the second quarter. UF went on a nine-minute-long scoring drought after Correa’s bucket, and Auburn started the quarter 1-10 from the field. 

Rimdal took the ball and drove the length of the court, but her layup attempt was too strong. Florida head coach Kelly Rae Finley took a timeout to try and shake her team out of its offensive slump.

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Correa fired up a 3-point shot coming out of the timeout, but it fell short. 

Tigers guard Honesty Scott-Grayson ended the scoring drought with a mid-range jumper to bring Auburn within one. Coulibaly drew a foul and hit one of her free throws to tie the game at 20.

The Tigers took their first lead after Scott-Grayson hit another jumper to give them a two-point lead. Coulibaly finished a transition layup a few possessions later to extend Auburn’s run. 

Florida junior forward Jordyn Merritt knocked Auburn forward Kharyssa Richardson to the ground and was called for an intentional foul. The Tigers converted the technical free throw, and Coulibaly scored inside. 

The Gators went into halftime down 27-20 to the Tigers. UF missed its next 14 field goals after Correa’s layup at the 9:32 mark of the second quarter. 

Florida finished the first half 7-35 from the field and was held to two points in the second quarter. Auburn finished the half on a 14-0 run to give them the lead. 

Auburn guard Sydney Shaw stole the ball to start the second half and hit a mid-range jumper. Rimdal ended Florida’s scoring drought with a 3-pointer on the next possession. 

The Tigers took a double-digit lead after Scott-Grayson caught a full-court lob and finished the play with a layup.

Correa kept UF in the game with a quick three. Auburn fired back with a 2-point score to keep their lead at 10 points. 

Deans drilled a 3-pointer of her own, but the Gators failed to stop the Tigers on the other end. The lead stood at double figures after eight straight Auburn makes.

Correa connected on another triple, and Rimdal hit an open corner three to cut the lead to single digits as the Gators went on an 8-0 run. Tigers junior forward Romi Levy made a layup in the final minute to end the run and restore Auburn’s lead back to double digits. 

Deans scored a pair of free throws to make it a nine-point game. Auburn led at the end of the third quarter, 52-43. 

The Tigers scored first to start the last quarter, but Correa responded with a three on the other end. Correa ended the game 4-6 from beyond the arc.

Kyle scored down low to get UF within six points of Auburn. 

Scott-Grayson made a backdoor cut along the baseline to score a layup and push the Tigers’ lead to 10. Shaw buried a triple on the next play to cap off a 7-0 Auburn run. 

Merritt knocked down a corner three to bring the Gators within eight points in the closing minutes. The Gators turned the ball over on back-to-back possessions in the final minute to end the game. 

Florida will return to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center to play the Texas A&M Aggies Thursday. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m., and the game will be streamed on SEC Network+.

Contact Jackson Reyes at Follow him on Twitter @JacksnReyes.

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Jackson Reyes

Jackson Reyes is a UF journalism senior and The Alligator's Fall 2023 Sports Editor. He previously served as Digital Managing Editor and was a reporter and assistant editor on the sports desk. In his free time, he enjoys collecting records, long walks on the beach and watching Bo Nix.

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