Led by freshman Sara Lowe’s 18 points, the Florida women’s basketball team (5-1) defeated the Miami Hurricanes 76-67 in a wire-to-wire game Tuesday night in the O’Connell Center. The Gators now have won eight consecutive games versus the Hurricanes (3-2) and extended their winning streak against instate opponents to 42 straight.
Florida’s freshmen continued to make huge contributions, as they combined for 56 points, 28 rebounds and 15 assists in the Gator victory. For the third time this season, a Gator freshman led the team in scoring as Lowe turned in a career-high offensive performance, in addition to adding nine rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Three other freshmen – Brittany Davis (13), Danielle Santos (13) and Bernice Mosby (10) – scored in double figures, as well. Vanessa Hayden led the upperclassmen with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Hayden also had seven blocked shots to up her streak of 52 consecutive games with a blocked shot.
Florida pounded the glass, as they out rebounded Miami 53-39. Hayden led the team with 11 rebounds. Santos came off the bench and grabbed eight boards. The Gators tallied 15 offensive rebounds, their third highest total this season.
“The biggest stat I was impressed with was the offensive rebounds Miami had,” UF head coach Carolyn Peck said. “That’s been a problem area for us this season and there was a focus there tonight. I was pleased with our effort limiting them to 10.”
In the opening half, the Gators missed their first seven shots and committed four quick turnovers as Miami opened with an 8-0 run. Bernice Mosby finally put the Gators on the board with a layup at 16:19 to start a 7-0 run. Lowe nailed a three-pointer to give Florida its first lead of the game, 12-10, with 13:55 left in the half. The Gator freshmen teamed up to score Florida’s first 20 points. Florida held Miami scoreless from the 3-point line until 3:33 remaining in the first half. That sparked a 13-2 Hurricane run to close out the first half. The Gators headed into the locker room down by five as Miami led 36-31.
Brittany Davis made a layup to give Florida its first lead of the second half at 46-45 with 12 minutes left in the game. UF went on a 10-1 run to take the lead 48-44. Florida maintained its lead in the second half. Davis nailed a three-point play to give the Gators a 64-59 lead over the Hurricanes. Danielle Santos sank a three-pointer to give Florida a 69-61 edge over Miami. UM canned six consecutive free throws to close the gap 69-67 with one minute remaining. Vanessa Hayden tipped in the ball with 36 seconds left in the game. The Hurricanes sent Santos to the line where she sealed the win with two free throws and gave the Gators a 73-67 lead. Florida took three more trips to the line to finish the game 76-67.
Miami freshman Tamara James led the Hurricanes with 17 points and six rebounds. Chanivia Broussard added 16 points, seven rebounds and five blocks in 18 minutes, while Yalonda McCormick tallied 10 points in the loss.
Information provided by the UM Sports Information Department.