Photo by Allen Sharpe. Courtesy of the University Athletic Association

Gator Women’s Basketball Wins Big in Exhibition

The Florida women’s basketball team wins its only exhibition game of the year, beating Valdosta State 84-38 Wednesday in the O’Connell Center.  Valdosta State actually led the Gators for 13 seconds in the beginning of the first quarter before the Gators took over and never looked back.


  • Second Half Spark
  • Steals
  • Defense

Second Half Spark

The Gators had a strong lead at half-time, 28-15, but exploded in the third quarter with 29 points.  Florida continues its dominance in the fourth quarter, going up by 52 at one point.

KeKe Smith came up huge for Florida with 20 points, scoring more this game than any other game she played in last season. The redshirt sophomore shot 50 percent from the field, dished five assists and added four steals. She also scored 11 points in the third quarter.

Ariel Johnson also recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds; she averaged just 4.9 points a game a year ago.


The Gators were sneaky tonight totaling 16 steals.  Smith’s four steals were accompanied by Johnson’s five. Zada Williams had three, Nina Rickards had two, and Lavender Briggs and Kristina Moore tallied one a piece.


The Gator’s defense kept Voldosta State to just 15 points in the first half, four points in the second quarter, and only six points in the third.  22 turnovers; that’s how many turnovers the Gators forced tonight. The steals resulted in 35 points.

The highest scoring player for Voldosta State was Cheray Saunders, who scored 12 points. Everyone else scored no more than six points.


Florida shot 41.8 percent from the field, but hit 8 of 15 in the fourth quarter.  The Gators attempted 33 free throws during the game, knocking down 23.

This game marks the first home exhibition game for the Gators since the 2008-2009 season.

The Gators did get some bad news.   Just before this game, it was announced that guard Danielle Rainey will miss the 2019-20 season after sustaining a knee injury during a team scrimmage last week. Rainey, who averaged 8.2 points a game last season, suffered an ACL injury in a closed-door scrimmage this past Saturday.

Looking Ahead

The Gators begin their 2019-20 campaign in Louisiana when they take on the Grambling State University Tigers next Tuesday.

Below are some video highlights of the Florida win over Valdosta State.







About Sasha Stein

Sasha Stein is a current UF student aspiring to become a sports reporter/broadcaster.

Check Also

Gator Women’s Hoops Gets Bragging Rights After Defeating FSU

The Florida women’s basketball team rolls over in-state rival Florida State to end their five-game …