Florida Gators women’s basketball (12-4, 2-0 SEC) pulled off one of the biggest victories in program history on Sunday afternoon, hanging an 83-73 road defeat on the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats (13-2, 1-1 SEC) at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, KY.
Sunday’s victory broke a six-game losing streak for UF against UK and extended the Gators’ current winning streak to eight games, their longest since the 2008-09 season.
Florida won due to some tremendous play from its two backcourt stars.
Senior guard Jaterra Bonds, the reigning Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, led all players with a game-high 23 points on 6-of-14 shooting. She hit 10-of-12 free throws and also added six rebounds on the afternoon.
Freshman G Ronnie Williams posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 boards for Florida, going 9-for-13 from the field and registering two blocks in the contest.
The Gators led by a single point at the half but coughed up their lead and trailed the Wildcats by nine with 12 minutes to play.
An 8-1 run got Florida back in the game, but the Gators were still fighting from behind with less than four minutes left.
At that point, UF pieced together a 6-0 scoring stretch to jump ahead 75-70 and never trailed again, hitting 6-of-8 free throw attempts over the final 1:28.
Florida head coach Amanda Butler is now 11-35 in her seven-year tenure against ranked opponents. The Gators went 0-5 against top 25 teams in her first season (2007-08), 4-3 in her second (2008-09) and 6-19 combined over the subsequent three seasons. Last season, UF was 0-8 against ranked opponents.
Sunday’s win was Florida’s first victory against a top 25 team since defeating No. 16 Ohio State on March 17, 2012. It is also the Gators’ first win against a top 10 program under Butler, who was 0-17 previously in such games.
Florida had lost 19-straight regular season games against top 10-ranked opponents, earning its last victory to such a team on Feb. 26, 2006 in an overtime contest on the road against No. 5 Tennessee. UF also beat No. 2 LSU in overtime 10 days prior.