Broughton helps Florida Women upset No. 11 LSU

Zippy Broughton hit a clutch pull-up, a midrange jumper with just under a minute left, then added two free throws with six seconds remaining to ice Florida’s 73-72 victory over the No. 11 LSU in front of an emotional home crowd on Sunday.

Florida picked up its third win over a ranked Southeastern Conference opponent in its last five games, also picking up victories over No. 25 Texas A&M and No. 23 Kentucky. The Gators will now put their five-game winning streak on the line when they host No. 1-ranked South Carolina on Sunday morning.

Khayla Pointer had two free throws with 6:48 left to pull LSU even at 62, then Awa Trasi hit the second of two free throws with 5:25 for a 63-62 LSU lead. The Pointer jumper pushed the lead to 65-62 before Kiara Smith put Florida ahead with two free throws and a jumper with 3:17 to go. The pointer hit another big bucket as LSU regained the lead.

The Gators, who led for 22 minutes in the game, took the lead for good when Nina Rickards scored on the field goal with 2:05 left. With less than a minute remaining, Broughton dribbled into open space left of the free throw line and dumped the jumper to make it a three-point Florida lead. LSU missed two 3-point attempts on their next possession and Smith was fouled after knocking down the defensive rebound, hitting the second of the two to make it 71-67. Ryann Payne got the ball in the corner and walked into a defender for a baseline jumper that put the Tigers close to two, but Broughton pushed the lead to four with his free throws. The 3-pointer from the pointer to the buzzer set the final score.

Smith made 10 of 13 free throws and scored 23 points with eight assists and three steals to lead Florida (15-5, 5-2). Jordyn Merritt finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Broughton recovered from foul trouble in the first half to score 14 points and collect three steals.

Pointer finished with 35 points to lead LSU (17-3, 5-2), shooting 11 of 27 from the field and 12 of 15 from the line. Autumn Newby grabbed 11 rebounds.

The loss ended the Tigers’ three-game winning streak. They travel to face Arkansas on Tuesday before returning home to face No. 23 Kentucky on Sunday.

Florida’s hot streak in conference games will likely put pressure on the school to remove the interim tag of coach Kelly Rae Finley, who was named interim head coach of the Gators in July 2021 after Cam Newbauer resigned for personal reasons. Finley coached at Florida for five seasons, the last two as an associate head coach.

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More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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