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Women’s Basketball Falls to Florida in Double Overtime Thriller

Published: Jan. 9, 2022 at 6:20 PM CST
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BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Zipporah Broughton scored a career-high 28 points, Kiki Smith added 27 and they combined for 11 of Florida’s 13 points in the second overtime to lead the Gators over No. 25 Texas A&M 97-89 on Sunday.

Jordyn Merritt added 17 points with a career-high five 3-pointers for the Gators (11-5, 1-2 Southeastern Conference), who overcame a 19-point third-quarter deficit.

Qadashah Hoppie scored 25 points, Kayla Wells 23, Maliyah Johnson 13 and Aaliyah Patty added 10 plus 16 rebounds for the Aggies (10-5, 0-3), who have lost three straight and fell to the Gators for the first time in the teams’ last seven meetings.

Broughton and Smith each had buckets to open the second overtime and Florida led the rest of the way with seven free throws in the final minute securing the win.

Two free throws by Hoppie with two seconds left in the first overtime tied it at 84-all

Florida had the ball under its basket with 17.5 seconds left in regulation but Hoppie stole the inbounds pass, though she missed a fast-break layup and the Aggies missed two more shots.

Florida didn’t make a 3-pointer in a loss Ole Miss on Thursday, ending 131-game streak, but sank a season-high 13-of-30 on Sunday.

Florida announced Friday that its leading scorer and rebounder through the Gators’ first 14 games, Lavender Briggs, would miss remainder of season due to a stress reaction in her lower leg.

Florida is host to Auburn and the Aggies are at South Carolina on Thursday.

POSTGAME NOTES

RECORDS & SERIES NOTES

  • Texas A&M falls to 10-5 overall this season and 0-3 in conference play.
  • The Maroon & White is now 11-2 against Florida all-time.

TEAM NOTES

  • This is the first double-overtime game for the program since November 17, 2001, against Portland State, and just the fourth overall. The Aggies are 1-3 in double-overtime contests all-time.
  • Texas A&M outscored its opponent in the paint for the eighth time this season, scoring 40 in the painted area compared to Florida’s 28.
  • The Aggies led the rebounding margin 49-40. Texas A&M is now 10-1 when registering more rebounds than their opponents.
  • Texas A&M utilized a starting lineup of Jordan Nixon, Qadashah Hoppie, Aaliyah Patty, Kayla Wells and Jada Malone for the first time this season (0-1).
  • This is the 10th different starting lineup the Aggies have used this season.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Qadashah Hoppie led the Aggies in scoring for the first time this season, pouring in a season-high 25 points, going 10-of-20 from the field and draining two 3-pointers in a career-high 46 minutes.
  • Kayla Wells has scored in double digits every game this year, after scoring 23 points against the Gators. She has now scored 10-or-more points in 79 games throughout her career.
  • Wells has played in 139 games for the Aggies, which is five games from breaking Karla Gilbert’s program record of 143.
  • Wells set a career-high in minutes played, competing on the court for a game-high 49 minutes.
  • Wells has scored 20-or-more points in six games this season.
  • Aaliyah Patty hauled in 16 rebounds and scored 10 points for her third double-double of the season.
  • Patty logged a career-high 37 minutes of game time.
  • Maliyah Johnson went 4-of-6 from the field and scored a career-best 13 points while notching the most minutes played of her career (28).
  • Women’s Basketball Hall-of-Famer Gary Blair falls to 848-338 in his career with a 440-175 record at Texas A&M.

Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Gary Blair

On her performance…

“As a coaching staff and as a basketball team, we lost our composure during the ballgame. I’ve got a great bunch of kids. We played too one-dimensional out there on the court. You run out of options sometimes to call and try to get to their strengths. Or we wouldn’t wait until we could get to our strengths and be composed enough to run an offense. I think when you blow a 19-point lead in the second half at home, that’s totally on us and I give them a lot of credit. They never gave up because they have two great guards. [Zipporah] Broughton hadn’t been starting a majority of the year. She’s in there because [Lavender] Briggs is out, their best player. I give [Kiara] Smith a lot of credit. We talked about this at halftime, that whenever it comes down to it, Smith is going to have the ball in her hands. The only way you could do it is to deny back. We’d sit there and ball watch, the ball would reverse back to her, and she’d make a play for herself or someone else. The key layups that we missed; we can’t get them back. The key free-throws or the key stops, you name it, it was all there. We gave a lot better effort, a lot of energy and a lot of effort to make up for our lack of execution when you start to ballgame 3-for-17. The stats don’t lie.”

On taking advantage of key opportunities…

“I thought when Jordan [Nixon] opened up with a three and then I think we got a two, so we were up five or three. We had the layup on the steal, which we called, because they like to chest pass it in. We got the steal, couldn’t make the layup. You name it, it happened.”

Junior Guard Jordan Nixon

On double over-time play…

“It’s not about talent. It doesn’t really come down to that because every team in this league is talented. Those little things are everything in the first quarter and in double overtime. It’s not even about the better team per se.”

On bouncing back...

“I think there is so much to be said about the resilience that we’ve shown. To circle back to the Tennessee and LSU topic, every experience is a learning experience. I think we just need to go back and just keep moving forward. Go back, look at it, see what it is, break it down and take it into the rest of the season.”

Graduate Guard Qadashah Hoppie

On stepping up when games are slipping away…

“We definitely have to take these last three games and apply them to our future games because it kept happening, just slippage. When we’re getting up, doing good and relaxed; we need to keep that foot on the pedal and hone into those details no matter if we’re up by 20 or two.”

Graduate Guard Kayla Wells

On staying level-headed…

“I feel like you just have to keep grinding it out. There’s nothing else you can do; you have to control what you can control. We can’t control that we’ve lost, we have to put that behind us and we have to keep finding ways to get better, finding ways to close out games, watching film, figuring out the little stuff that we need to be doing so that we can close out these games.”

Up Next

The Aggies hit the road to play against No. 1 South Carolina on Thursday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. inside Colonial Life Arena.

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