After suffering a bitter loss at the hands of the Mississippi State Bulldogs less than three weeks earlier, the Florida Gators women’s basketball team came into their Sunday afternoon rematch hungrier than ever before.
The Florida Gators (13-9, 4-6 SEC) dominated the Mississippi State Bulldogs (20-6, 7-4 SEC) all day long in a 90-70 victory. Florida jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter and never let up from there.
UF senior guard Leilani Correa further cemented her status as one of the most dangerous scorers in the SEC, dropping 29 points on 10-for-17 shooting. Senior guard Zippy Broughton also had an impressive offensive outing, chipping in with 16 points and six assists.
Senior forward Faith Dut made plenty of noise on both ends as well and finished the afternoon with 10 points on a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and four steals.
Mississippi State senior center Jessika Carter did what she could to keep her squad in the game, finishing the day with 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting and 13 rebounds. Nonetheless, not even Carter’s strong performance in the paint was enough to keep the Bulldogs afloat in a game the Gators controlled from start to finish.
Florida got off to a strong start in the first quarter. Within the first five minutes, UF built a 12-8 lead over the Bulldogs. After a media timeout, the Gators took off running and never looked back.
Coming out of the break, Correa immediately knocked down a 3-pointer on a fast break. That set the tone for an 8-1 run to put the Gators up double-digits. By the end of the quarter, Florida extended its lead to 26-15.
The second quarter proved to be more of the same for both sides. The Gators kept rolling offensively, while the Bulldogs seemingly held a lid on the rim with their limited offensive output. Brighton and Correa caught fire, combining for 20 points in the quarter alone.
By the halftime break, the Gators built their lead up to 18 points. They returned to the locker room ahead 50-32.
The Bulldogs still had some fight left in them after the first half. At one point, they went on a 7-0 run to cut Florida’s lead back down to 13 points. Nevertheless, the Gators closed the quarter out with a 7-2 run of their own to jump back out to a 67-51 lead.
By the start of the fourth quarter, Florida was ready to put this game on ice. The Bulldogs managed to cut their deficit down to 75-64 with less than six minutes to go, but the Gators responded with an 11-2 run that effectively served as the final nail in the coffin.
Following their win on Sunday, the Gators have now won three of their last four SEC matchups after a 1-5 start in conference play. They will return to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for its next matchup against the Ole Miss Rebels on Feb. 15. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m, and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network.
Contact Jack Meyer at email@example.com. Follow him on X @jackmeyerUF.
Jack Meyer is a third-year journalism major and a sports reporter for The Alligator. In his free time, he enjoys running, spending time with friends, playing video games, and watching the Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins.