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Mar 4, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Janee Thompson (3) defends Florida Gators guard/forward Eleanna Christinaki (21) in the third quarter during the women's SEC basketball tournament at Jacksonville Memorial Veterans Arena. Kentucky won 92-69. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Looks to Continue Hot Start at ASU Classic

The No. 19 ranked Florida Women’s basketball team is relying on it’s big three of Ronnie Williams, Eleanna Christinaki, and Haley Lorenzen to carry the them throughout the early season. And so far, the results have been satisfying.

Apart from a 73-68 loss to Northwestern on Nov. 25, the Gators have handled the other five teams they’ve faced handily. In their five wins, the Gators have shot an astonishing 48.7 percent from the floor.  While the three point game has yet to hit it’s stride, hovering around 27 percent, the inside game has been as fluent as ever.

A big reason for that is due to senior forward Ronnie Williams. The Daytona Beach native is averaging the second most points on the team (16.2) while grabbing the most rebounds per match (8.8), a mark that is seventh in the SEC.

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Florida head coach Amanda Butler says that not only is Williams a leader during the games, but also equally hard during practices. The payoff is showcasing itself, as the Gators offense has been hard to contain. They are currently tied with Alabama for the most field goals per game at 31.3.

Junior forward Haley Lorenzen is also playing solid. The 6 foot 3 forward is averaging 14.2 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game, and rounds out the back end of Gators who are scoring with double digit averages.

Williams ability to rebound the ball and create extra shots for teammates has also allowed other players to flourish. Sophomore guard Eleanna Christinaki has taken her play to the next level, leading the SEC in scoring with 20.7 points per game. That average is nearly double that of her freshman year, where she chipped in 10.4 points per contest.

 

The defense has also been stingier, as the Gators have only given up 59 points per game. Through six games last season, that mark was over seven points higher at 66.6 points per game.

Now the team travels to Tempe, Arizona to kick of the Arizona State Classic, in the thick of their 12 game road streak to begin the season. They face a tough Long Beach State who boasts two seniors guards with the ability to score and move the ball quickly. Jewelyn Sawyer and Raven Benton have combined to average 27 points per game. The 49ers have started the year 3-3.

Both teams square off Saturday, December 3rd at 4:30 p.m., with the winner moving on to face the winner of Arizona State and Boston University.

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