Guard Aliyah Matharu (2) goes for the layup against No. 12 Florida State on Friday, November 11, 2023, in Exactech Arena at the Stephen O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fl. (University Athletic Association/Emma Bissell)

Florida Demolishes Winthrop at Home

On Saturday afternoon, the Florida Gators women’s basketball team was back in action against the 6-7 Winthrop Eagles. The Gators were back at home following a big win in the Woman’s Jumpman Invitational against Michigan. Despite three close losses, Florida has been exceptional this year, boasting an 8-3 record entering the Saturday afternoon game. Winthrop on the other hand has not enjoyed the same success, coming off a 55-49 loss against North Florida. In what was Florida’s last non-conference contest of the season, this game was not close from the start. Florida picked up a dominant 73-36 win, earning their ninth win of the season and last win before the new year.

The Breakdown

The Gators blew the doors open early, starting the game off with a dominant 27-point first quarter. Florida started off the second on a 14-0 run, taking a 41-11 lead. Star guard Aliyah Matharu led the way for Florida, scoring 10 points in the first half. The Gator defense was a brick wall in this one, only allowing 4 points in the quarter and just 15 points through one half of basketball.

The second half saw more of the same for Winthrop. The Eagles scored just 12 points in the third, which ended up being the most points Winthrop scored in any quarter of the game. Florida was able to heavily utilize the bench in this one, giving ten-plus minutes to 11 out of 12 players. The Gators scored 29 points off the bench, with Leilani Correa scoring 11 of those. Holding a big lead in the fourth, Florida was able to cruise to a 73-36 win over Winthrop.

The Stats

Florida shot exceptionally well from the field, converting at a 51.9 percent clip. However, the Gators shot just 31.6 percent from three, with nobody on the team able to convert more than once from beyond the ark. On the scoring side of the ball, Matharu and Correa took care of business, scoring 12 and 11. On the boards, Florida won the battle 35-29, with center Ra Shaya Kyle bringing in 11 boards to go along with her 10 points. Defensively, the Gators forced 25 turnovers, stealing the ball 11 times in addition to 2 blocks in the contest.

Winthrop had a rough statistical game. Shooting just 27.7 percent from the floor and 10 percent from three, the Eagles are ready to forget about yesterday afternoons performance. Forward Blessing Okoh led the way for Winthrop, scoring 13 points to go with 5 rebounds off the bench. Forward Marissa Gasaway also had a good game, leading the team with 7 rebounds to go along with 8 points in just 21 minutes of action. On the defensive end, the Eagles forced 25 turnovers, stealing the ball 7 times in the contest.

Florida is back in action Jan. 4 against No.1 South Carolina.

Tip off is set for 7 p.m.

About Nicholas Diaz

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