Florida bounces back for a women's basketball win

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Florida guard Nina Rickards scored 12 points to go with seven rebounds Wednesday. [File]

 Facing a quick turnaround after losing 81-75 to Florida State in Tallahassee on Tuesday, the Florida women's basketball team bounced back by defeating Charleston Southern  67-52 on Wednesday evening at the O'Connell Center.

 The Gators (2-1) ended the first half with a dominant 23-4 run after trailing early, and never looked back. 

"We limited them to one offensive rebound, while we had 15 offense rebounds on the night," UF coach Cam Newbauer said. "They didn't have much size, so that was a part of it, but we controlled the glass.

"We had some good moments in spurts, but there were a lot of strange moments both offensively and defensively. That is just the inexperience of playing back-to-back games. We will have to fix that, but we will keep moving forward and getting more focused."

Senior floor general Kiki Smith, scoring 10 or more points for the third-consecutive game, added 15 points, four rebounds and career-high six steals. Scoring in double figures for the second-straight night, Nina Rickards added 12 points to go with seven rebounds.

A night after rebounding was its Achilles Heel, Florida outbounded the Buccaneers 38-22 and did not allow a single second-chance point.

Despite enduring a slow start, Florida led for nearly 33 minutes in the matchup and by as many as 25. 

Sophomore guard Lavender Briggs chipped in with nine points while super sub Danielle Rainey added seven. The Wichita State transfer Alyssia Faye paced Charleston Southern with 18 points and eight rebounds in 35 minutes.

The Gators remain at home for a 1 p.m. game Saturday against Cincinnati.