The Florida Gators women’s basketball team defeated the Saint Leo University Lions 110-46 in an exhibition matchup last night. Florida controlled every aspect of this game from the opening tipoff until the final buzzer. After taking a massive 33-7 lead in the first quarter, the Gators kept their foot on the pedal and never looked back.
The Gators picked up right where they left off following a strong 2021-22 season. Coming off their first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2016, Florida looked on point in their return to the hardwood. They took advantage of every opportunity they saw to exert their control over the game. Florida finished with 56 points in the paint, 22 points off turnovers and 13 second chance points.
In addition to their impressive showing on offense, Florida also locked down Saint Leo on the defensive end. The Gators held the Lions to 23.4% shooting from the field and racked up 16 steals. The Lions also only managed to convert on four of their 17 three-point shot attempts.
Gators Shining Brightly All Over the Court
Seven Gators scored in double figures while the team shot a combined 48.8% from the field. Junior Ra Shaya Kyle led the Gators with 16 points while shooting 5-for-7 from the field. She also chipped in with 11 rebounds and one block.
Additionally, newcomer Kirsten “KK” Deans had an impressive debut with the Gators. The senior guard joined Florida after three years with the West Virginia Mountaineers. In 14 minutes off the bench, Deans finished with 10 points, five assists and four steals.
Senior Nina Rickards put together a stellar all-around performance on Wednesday night. She finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. Other standout performers for the Gators included sophomore Alberte Rimdal and senior Leilani Correa. Rimdal put up 15 points and made three of her eight three-point shot attempts, while Correa collected 13 points, five assists and three steals.
With their only exhibition game now out of the way, the Gators will turn their attention to preparing for the regular season. They will open up the 2022-23 campaign on Nov. 7 as they host the Florida A&M Rattlers. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.