The Gator women’s basketball team (1-1) won its first game of the season on Monday after defeating the sixth ranked Florida State Seminoles (0-1) 82-72 at the O’Connell Center. The Gators overcame a 15 point deficit to eventually take the lead in the fourth quarter and win the game.
Despite their rough start offensively, which was marked by sloppy turnovers and plenty of missed shots, UF bounced back in the middle of the second quarter and continued their energetic play behind the leadership of guard Simone Westbrook and guard Eleanna Christinaki.
Both guards made impactful plays on the defensive end that helped fuel the team’s offense with easy fast break points. Christinaki had 13 points, seven assists, and four steals, while Westbrook added 14 points and three assists.
Despite their production, junior forward Ronni Williams ultimately led the way for the Gators with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Williams capitalized on high percentage shots around the basket in their half court offense and ran the floor extremely well on fast break possessions.
Although FSU got into a good rhythm offensively in the second quarter, the combination of Christinaki and Westbrook on the perimeter and forwards Haley Lorenzen and Carla Batchelor in the paint was enough to slow them down a little bit on offense before half time.
Butler chose to stick with the lineup that gave them the most success before the break (Westbrook, Christinaki, Williams, Dyandria Anderson, and Haley Lorenzen) and watched as UF’s bench continued to outplay FSU and eventually outscore the Seminoles’ bench 41-9. FSU finished the game shooting 33 percent from the field with 24 turnovers.
The Gators’ next match up will be against Kennesaw State on Saturday in the O’Dome. Tip-off is set for 4pm.