Gator Women’s Basketball Strong Start to the Season

Gator Women’s Basketball improved to a 6-1 record after a hard-fought overtime win against the University of Houston on Saturday. The Gators are currently on a four-game winning streak and have only lost to Florida State this season so far, with the seniors leading the way.

This is the best start of the season for the Gators since the 2016-2017 season.

Seniors Leading the Way

The seniors on the team are leading the way to the early success. Leilani Correa, KK Deans, Nina Rickards and Faith Dut are all leaders in different aspects.

Correa is recording the best numbers in her career yet. She is averaging 18.1 points over 27.4 minutes with a 48.9 FG% and 37.8 3P%. Other than that, she has 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and two steals. She was core to the thrilling win on Saturday as she has 24 points and eight rebounds with a 57.1 FG%.

Deans leads the team in assists with 3.6 assists per game. On top of that, she is averaging 12.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 45.5 3P%. On Saturday, she had 19 points and five assists to contribute to the win. She is averaging the highest number of turnovers in her career, however, at 4.3 TOs per game.

Rickards and Dut are both directing the defensive efforts of the team. Rickards is averaging 6.6 rebounds and 2.6 steals while But is averaging 1.1 blocks per game. Additionally, Rickards is scoring 11.7 points and Dut is scoring 5.6 points. Even so, Rickards did not perform as well on Saturday as she only managed to score 10 points on 20 FG% over 42 minutes played.

Key Efforts from Younger Members

Other than the seniors, several younger members are also key assets to this Gators’ team, which includes junior Jordyn Merritt, junior Ra Shaya Kyle and sophomore Alberte Rimdal.

Merritt is averaging 9.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals over 26.1 minutes played. Her numbers have improved from the previous years, but her FG% dropped from 42.5% to 37.3% from last year largely due to the decrease in the 3P% from 41.3% to 29.2%.

Kyle is is averaging 9.6 points and 6.6 rebounds over 18.7 minutes played. She had nine points and seven rebounds to contribute to the win on Saturday.

Rimdal is developing to become a major player for the team. Her minutes increased from 16.1 to 25.3 this season. Furthermore, she is averaging 6.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.6 steals as a sophomore. On Saturday, she had five points three rebounds and two assists on 50 FG%.

What’s Next?

The Gators will play Prairie View A&M Panthers this Wednesday. Catch coverage of the game at ESPN 98.1 FM & 850AM from 5:15 pm.

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