Kelly Rae Finley cried over injured Florida Gators star Kiki Smith. Fans on Twitter loved it
The Florida Gators women's basketball team rallied to beat Vanderbilt 53-52 in their SEC Tournament opener Thursday. But the joy of the victory was tempered by a scary-looking injury to their leading scorer.
Kiki Smith went down with about 4 minutes to go after it appeared her right knee gave way. She cried out after falling to the floor and looked to be in serious pain as trainers tended to her.
After the win, coach Kelly Rae Finley was emotional speaking with the SEC Network with guard Zippy Broughton at her side. She remained so in the postgame conference.
"She sacrificed a lot coming back this year to help us write the story of how the Gators became great," Finley said, choking back tears. "And for that — she didn't have to do that. But she did because she is really selfless."
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Kiki Smith receives supports from fans on Twitter
Fans reached out to offer support to Smith, who has a history of knee injuries over her career.
Twitter reacts to Kelly Rae Finley's emotional response
Fans and outlets on social media were vocal about Finley's emotional connection to her players. Finley started the season as the interim head coach before earning the full-time gig this week for the Gators' strong season.
Florida faces Ole Miss at 3:30 p.m. Friday in the next round of the SEC Tournament.