UF Women’s Basketball: Briggs Brings Home SEC All-Freshman Team Honors

Lavender Briggs put together one of the best seasons by a freshman in program history.
Photo by Matt Pendleton

Courtesy of UF Athletic Association

Women’s basketball standout Lavender Briggs collects Southeastern Conference postseason accolade.

First-year guard Lavender Briggs has been named to the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team, becoming the 22nd player in program history to garner the accolade as the league office released its postseason awards Tuesday afternoon.

Briggs led the Gators in scoring with 14.8 points per game for the regular season, becoming just the second Florida freshman in the last 20 seasons to accomplish the feat. Briggs’ regular season points-per-game average was the highest by a Gator freshman since the 1991-92 season, when the program’s eventual all-time leading scorer Merlakia Jones averaged 15.1 in 27 contests.

Briggs is the first Gator to collect an SEC postseason honor since the 2016-17 season.

Leading the league in minutes played (34.6 per game), something an SEC freshman has not done in 20 years, the Utah native finished ninth in the conference in scoring and also finished in the top 20 in rebounding (6.3).

With seven double-doubles, Briggs has racked up the most by a Florida rookie since the 2000-01 campaign when Vanessa Hayden posted 11.

“We are very proud of Lavender’s recognition in making the All-Freshman Team. She is a tireless worker who is dedicated to becoming the best player she can be. This league, from top to bottom, is filled with talent at every position and in particular this year’s freshmen class, which was the best in the country,” said head coach Cam Newbauer. “Everyone on this team played a role in her success, and I’m proud of the contributions this group has made. We appreciate the respect and recognition from our peers across the SEC.”

The five-star recruit scored 10 or more points in 14 straight games, the longest double-figure scoring streak for the Gators since the 2000-01 campaign, and the six-foot-one guard led UF in scoring fifteen times.

Named the SEC Freshman of the Week on Feb. 18, Briggs averaged 20.5 points per game and led the Gators to wins over Ole Miss and Missouri. Briggs became the first Florida rookie to claim the award in over three years.

The consistency displayed by the freshman was remarkable: she tallied double-figure points in 25 of her 28 games played in the regular season.

Helping engineer two victories over AP Top 25 opponents during the regular season, Briggs registered a double-double in UF’s road victory at No. 14 Kentucky and scored 20 points in the win over No. 22 Arkansas.

Briggs and the Gators wrapped up the regular season with a 15-14 record, the program’s most wins since the 2015-16 season. Briggs’ impact, along with three additional newcomers and improved play by key returners, helped propel Florida to six conference wins, equaling its tally from the previous two seasons combined.

Cracking the program’s top 10 freshmen scoring list, Briggs has scored 413 points and currently ranks seventh, with an opportunity to continue to climb the charts.. 

Florida, receiving a No. 10 seed and a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament for the first time since 2015-16, is set to battle No. 7 LSU Thursday evening in Greenville. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. ET from Bon Secours Wellness Arena and the game will be broadcast to a national audience on the SEC Network.