Freshman Laila Reynolds made her first collegiate appearance tonight against Florida Southern and reached double figures in scoring. Photo courtesy of

Gators Women’s Hoops Dominate Florida Southern in Exhibition Game

The Florida Gators Women’s Basketball team saw their first action of the 2023-2024 season Wednesday night in an exhibition game against Florida Southern. The Gators took care of business at home and beat the Mocs 93-43.

Close First Quarter

Both Florida and Florida Southern kept competition close in the first quarter. Both teams came out in man-to-man defense that worked fairly well for their respective squads. 

Due to the Gator’s speedy fast breaks, the Mocs committed fouls that allowed Florida more opportunities. Florida Southern had nine fouls to the Gators’ five in the first half.

The Moc’s strong point in the firstwas their shooting. Florida Southern shot 50% from the field and went 3-7 from deep. Florida, on the other hand, struggled in this area of play and scored mainly off of layups and free throws. The Gators shot 31.6% from the field and 1-6 behind the arc. 

The Gators led after the first, 21-16.

Gators Suffocating Defense

The Florida defense proved detrimental to Florida Southern and produced lots of mistakes for the Mocs.

Florida smothered ball handlers and did not allow Florida Southern’s offense to get into a rhythm. The Mocs turned the ball over 12 times in the first half. Florida made sure to capitalize on these mistakes and scored 16 points off of turnovers.

No. 2 Aliyah Matharu pick-pocketed the Moc’s guards all night contributing to three of the seven steals Florida had in the first half. Steals led to 10 fast break points for the Gators.

Florida took a massive lead at the half, 43-24.

Gators Run Away With It

Florida outperformed Florida Southern the entire second half. The Mocs couldn’t keep up with the long-winded Florida team.

The Gators shot much better in the second half. Florida shot 57.9% from the field in the third and 62.5% in the fourth.

Florida was a strong, consistent force down low. Florida had 50 points in the paint with 24 second chance points. Rebounding from Ra Shaya Kyle, Faith Dut, and Jeriah Warren was unstoppable and gave Florida many opportunities.

Despite effort from Florida Southern, Florida would go on to win this one with a final score of 93-43.

Up Next for Gators

The Gators will face off against North Florida on November 6 for the first regular season game. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.

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