AINESVILLE, FL. - The Gators found success on their home court Sunday afternoon defeating Texas A&M 63-51. Florida was led by Leilani Correa on offense once more with a 24-point performance. On defense Faith Dut led the way with nine rebounds and two blocks. Jeriah Warren also stepped up big for the Gators with seven rebounds and seven points.
Florida ended the first two quarters of play with a double-digit lead over the Aggies. Their offensive fuel came from Leilani Correa with 11 points, followed by a six-point half for Kenza Salgues going 2-for-2 from the three-point line.
To start the second half, The Aggies secured 13 straight points to challenge the Gators and take their first lead of the game at 31-29. From there, the advantage shifted back and forth until the Gators were ahead by three (39-36) going into the fourth quarter. Florida managed to hold the lead for the final 10 minutes of play, hitting their game high in scoring with 24 points to claim the victory over Texas A&M.
IN THE FIRST:
- The Gators ended the first quarter with a ten-point lead over the Aggies (17-7)
- Leilani Correa and Zippy Broughton led Florida in scoring with four points apiece
- Florida forced six turnovers on the Aggies and were only held to two
- The Gators were shooting 53.8 percent from the field in the first
- Leading on the boards for the Gators was Faith Dut securing four of the teams seven rebounds
- The Aggies were challenged from the field, only capitalizing on two of their 14 attempts (14.3%)
- Defensively, Florida recorded two blocks, their game high
IN THE SECOND:
- Correa led the way in the second with seven points for the Gators
- Florida increased their rebound total to ten Jeriah Warren and Faith Dut led with three rebounds each All 10 of Florida's rebounds were defensive
- The Gators snagged three steals in the second and tallied another block
- To end the first half, Florida had 18 points in the paint and 17 bench points
- Going into the locker room at half, Florida had yet to trail
IN THE THIRD:
- The Gators had a challenging start in the third with the Aggies going on a 13-point offensive run
- The run led to Texas A&M's first lead of the game at 31-29 Florida recorded nine bench points in the third and were held to only two points in the paint
- Five different Gators secured rebounds for the Gators in the third: Broughton, Reynolds, Warren, Dut, and Kindred
- The Gators were led in scoring once more by Correa with six points, followed by Eriny Kindred with three
IN THE FOURTH:
- Florida tallied 24 points in the fourth to mark their highest scoring quarter of the game
- Florida's quarter total came from 13 bench points, 12 points in the paint, and four off Aggie turnovers
- Correa led in both scoring and rebounds with seven points and three rebounds in the final quarter
- The Gators totaled 11 rebounds in the fourth: eight defensive and three offensive
- Faith Dut distributed two assists and one block in the final quarter Florida grabbed a 10-point lead with five minutes left to play (50-40)
- The Gators shot their game high of 58.3 percent from the field (7-of-12)
- Faith Dut hit her season high in rebounds with nine
- Leilani Correa dominated on offense for the Gators marking her twelfth straight double digit game in scoring Dating back to 12/2 at Marshall
- Eriny Kindred grabbed her season high in rebounds with four
- Since Kelly Rae Finley has been head coach, the Gators have yet to fall to the Aggies with four straight victories
- The Gators recorded 39 bench points and 32 points in the paint
- Florida totaled 65 possessions, converting for an average of .969 points per possession
- The Gators led for 32 minutes and 40 seconds and only trailed for five minutes and 15 seconds
KELLY RAE FINLEY SAID:
UF coach Kelly Rae Finley on what the game meant and overall thoughts:
"We talk a lot about the value of a team being exactly that: a team. While Leilani scores a lot of points. She couldn't do that without her teammates understanding where and how to get her the ball. She understands that...[Faith] had a great statistical night tonight, but, respectfully, I don't know if how much that really matters to me. Everybody on our team brings something of so much value, and tonight I was really proud to watch us when we had a moment there where we could have faltered and we could have lost hope. UF coach
Kelly Rae Finley on Texas A&M as a team and Coach Joni Taylor:
"I don't think any win is bigger than another. I think that Texas A&M is a very, very talented basketball team, and I have the utmost respect for Joni Taylor. I think she's a great coach and she has a great staff. The Gators did what we do best tonight, and it was really fun to see us excel on the defensive end of the floor."
SENIOR FORWARD FAITH DUT SAID:
Senior forward Faith Dut on her role as a Gator:
"I think that I've been blessed with a really great opportunity, and this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to come to this school, and I wanted to make an impact. And I think once I remembered my big-picture goal...I do this for my teammates, I do it for my program, and that's the end of that."
Florida: 11-8 (2-5 SEC)
Texas A&M: 15-5 (3-5 SEC)
The all-time series between Florida and Texas A&M now sits at 11-5 with the Aggies ahead by six victories. The Gators have now won the last four matchups against Texas A&M.
Florida will head to Baton Rouge on Sunday to play the 2023 National Champions at the Maravich Center. The contest will be Florida's fourth SEC road contest and eighth conference matchup.