The Vanderbilt Commodores has always been a opponent for the Gators. Seven of the last 10 games in the series have been decided by single digits. Florida won last year’s game against Vanderbilt 79- 67 in Gainesville.
This is UF’s 16th game on the road on the road this season. The team will travel to Nashville to face Vanderbilt on Sunday, January 29 at 3 p.m. The game will not be televised on TV, but it can be viewed online via SEC Network+.
Back in Tennessee Again
The Gators are once again playing an away game in the state of Tennessee this year. Florida has already traveled to and defeated Chattanooga 72- 61 back in November. Then, the Gators will return to Tennessee to take on the Volunteers in Knoxville in February.
The Gators( 10-10, 1-6) lost to Tennessee on Thursday in Gainesville 84-75 and are 1- 6 in SEC play. This is the Gator’s third consecutive game decided by single digits. The Gators still have a few players that will be key to defeat Vanderbilt. Senior Ronni Williams is the 24th Gator to score 1,000 career points—which she accomplished in December. In addition, Williams is leading the conference in scoring at 18.3 points per game. Williams also leads the Gators in rebounding (7.5 pg), field goal percentage (56.7%) and free throw percentage (74.2%). Another key player is junior Haley Lorenzen who has averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebounds over the last two games.
The Commodores (11-10, 1-7) ended their nine-game losing streak and earned its first SEC win of the season with a home victory Thursday against Alabama. The team is the most accurate three-point shooting team in the country, ranked third nationally at 40.9 percent. Those abilities were showcased against Alabama when the Commodores made 11-of-19 shots (57.9%) from behind the arc, including 8-of-1o in the first half.
Vanderbilt is also in the same dilemma as the Gators, with close scoring games resulting in a loss. The last five SEC defeats have been decided by a combined 21 points. The Gators will have to watch out for these two key players who are both averaging double figures—Rachel Bell and Christa Reed. Marqu’es Webb is Vanderbilt’s top rebounder, with an average of 9.3 points per game.
Keys to Victory
The only way Florida will win this game is if they truly focus on defense. The Gators are ranked next-to-last in the SEC in defense by allowing 67.8 ppg. With Vanderbilt’s great shooters, the Gators need to stay out of foul trouble which has been consistent in SEC matchups.
If the Gators improve these two areas, there should be no reason why the Gators can’t come back to Gainesville with their second SEC win. Florida ranks fifth in the SEC in scoring (72.8 ppg) and third in Field Goal percentage (45.7).