Roundup: Florida defeats Nebraska to close California trip

Special to the Sun
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif.– No.7 Florida concluded its stay at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with a 6-3 win over Nebraska at Big League Dreams park Sunday.
The Gators (16-2) finished the weekend going 4-1, with three wins over top 25 opponents. The Gators couldn’t keep top-ranked UCLA from rallying from a 3-1 deficit in a 5-4 loss in eight innings Saturday night.
Down 1-0 headed into the third frame against the Huskers (6-8), the Gators rallied to take the lead 2-1. Julia Cottrill provided the spark with her leadoff double down the right field line and Jaimie Hoover kept it alive with a one-out full-count walk.
Natalie Lugo (6-1) worked out of a one-out jam in the fifth inning. Nebraska produced a triple down the right field line with one out, but Lugo rallied in the circle to strike out the next two batters and preserve a 2-1 lead.
Florida pushed across three more runs in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead. Hannah Adams drew a walk on a 3-1 count to start the frame and Kendyl Lindaman roped a double down the left field line in the next at-bat to set up Charla Echols SAC fly to left field.
Jordan Roberts plated pinch-runner Mia Buffano and Baylee Goddard on a laser double to right-center field. Buffano entered to run for Lindaman and Goddard reached on a fielding error by the third baseman.
Florida returns home to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium for a 12-game home stand that will start with a three-game series Friday against No. 11 Louisiana.
Women’s basketball: Kiara Smith scored 26 points and Lavender Briggs scored 20 and Florida upset No. 22-ranked Arkansas holding off the Razorbacks late for an 83-80 win.
Florida had the ball at their end of the floor clinging to an 83-80 lead with 1.5 seconds left. Arkansas’ Chelsea Dungee stole the inbounds pass and dribbled across the timeline for a desperation heave which bounced off the backboard to end the game.
Florida (15-12, 6-8 SEC), which never trailed, built a 10-0 lead, extended it to 19-5 and wrapped up the first quarter ahead 26-16.
The Gators had their last double-digit lead at 61-51 with 2:55 left in the third when Arkansas (21-6, 9-5) began the climb back. A’Tyanna Gaulden made a pair of free throws capping a 17-9 Razorbacks run that reduced their deficit to 75-73 with 3:39 left. Amber Ramirez’s 3 made it 81-80 with 75 seconds left, but Smith followed with a jumper with 55 seconds to go ending the scoring for both teams.