LEXINGTON, Ky. — Freshman Lavender Briggs scored nine of her 18 points in a 25-5 fourth-quarter blitz that rallied Florida to a 70-62 win over No. 13 Kentucky on Sunday.
Playing their second-straight game without star Rhyne Howard, who has a broken finger, the Wildcats scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to take a 51-43 lead.
Briggs started the comeback with a 3-pointer at the 7:14 mark and her 3 at 5:12 put the Gators up 54-53. She added a layup then hit a her free throw with 59 seconds left for a 68-56 lead.
“We played so aggressively and together as a team,” UF coach Cam Newbauer said. “We were plus 18 on the glass and held them to 38 percent shooting and 17 percent shooting from three. That’s just fire and drive and passion for each other. Our team just got it done for each other.
“I thought we did a great job of handling their pressure with poise and strength. That was a lot of fun, I’m so proud of our kids they are so so deserved.”
Florida (12-10, 3-6 Southeastern Conference), which ended a five-game losing streak, beat a ranked team for the first time in eight tries this season. The Gators were 8-of-14 shooting in the fourth quarter, making 4 of 6 beyond the arc, but were only 7 of 13 from the foul line.
Briggs, who had a streak of 14 straight double-figure games end when the Gators lost to Kentucky 65-45 on Jan. 12, was just 7-of-20 shooting but had a career-high 13 rebounds and six assists. Her only other game scoring in double figures was the season opener.
Zada Williams and Nina Rickards added 12 points each with Williams grabbing 12 rebounds.
Kentucky (17-4, 6-3), which had a 14-point lead in the first half, was led by Chasity Patterson with a career-high 25 points.