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Williams’s Historic Performance Leads Florida Women’s Basketball Past Vandy

Ronni Williams scored the third most points in program history as her 43 points led Florida to a 93-73 at Vanderbilt on Sunday. The Gators are now 11-10 and 2-6 in the SEC. The win is Florida’s second conference victory in three games, after going winless in the first five SEC match-ups. Vanderbilt meanwhile is now 11-11 and 1-8 in SEC play.

Williams Makes History

Williams had her second straight game with over 30 points (she scored 31 in a mid-week loss against Tennessee). Indicative of her dominant performance, she also grabbed 14 rebounds to reach a double-double, and added three assists. She led the Gators in points, rebounds, and assists. Via Florida’s Twitter account, the only players with more points in a game in program history are Quintella Bonner and Merlakia Jones. Bonner scored 45 against UT Chattanooga in 1977 and Jones put up 44 against Texas in 1995. Amanda Butler, Florida’s head coach, heaped praise on Williams after the game.

Other Impact Players

Delicia Washington also had a big game for the Gators, scoring 20 points to go along with seven rebounds. Tyshara Fleming pitched in with a double-double of her own, contributing with 12 points and 12 rebounds. For Vanderbilt, they had four players score in double figures, led by Rebekah Dahling. Dahling scored 18 points, including going 4 for 6 from downtown. Vanderbilt as a whole drained 11 three’s, as they lead the SEC in three-point shooting. Kayla Overbeck had a double-double for Vandy, scoring 14 points and getting 13 rebounds.

Recap

Florida jumped out to a fast start, just as Butler had asked of her team before the game. They went on a 21-8 run in the first 10:36 of play, sparked by Washington’s nine points during that time span. By the end of the first half, the Gators had a 36-28 lead thanks to their balanced scoring and stingy defense. Williams and Fleming both had 10 points, and Florida held Vanderbilt to just over 33% shooting from the field in the first half.

The second half was more of the same for Florida. They held Vanderbilt to just five field goals in the third quarter, and they continued to dominate on the low block. The Gators out-rebounded the home team 50-42, including grabbing 18 offensive rebounds, a number that Butler said was great for her team. In addition, Florida outscored Vandy 46-24 in the paint, a sizeable advantage that led to the Gators being able to get their second road SEC win.

It helped that Williams exploded for 33 points in the second half. That number, and her total number, were aided in part because of her 17 free-throws throughout the game. She made 15 of those, all of them coming in the second half.

Vanderbilt was able to go on a small run in the fourth quarter to make it a 10 point game, but Sydney Morang’s three-pointer with 3:03 left in the game, her only made shot of the day, made it a 13 point game and sealed the deal for Florida.

Up Next

The Gators will travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M on Thursday.

About Jonathan Acosta

Native New Englander. Follow me on Twitter: @jonacosta_10

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