Williams Scores 1,000th Point in Win vs. Long Beach State

Among Ronni Williams’ game-high 18 points was the 1,000th of her career during an 83-53 victory against Long Beach State in the first round of the Arizona State Classic held at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.

Florida will play the hosting Sun Devils for the championship on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET/2 p.m. MT. Pac-12.com will provide live streaming video of the game between the two nationally-ranked teams, as the Gators check in at No. 19 in the AP poll and No. 23 by USA Today/WBCA. Arizona State (4-2) is No. 24 in the USA Today/WBCA poll and receiving votes in the AP.

The Sun Devils defeated Boston U., 71-42, in their first-round game on Saturday.

Florida is 2-1 all-time against Arizona State, with the last meeting a 74-58 Sun Devil win on Nov. 25, 2012 in the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout in Las Vegas.

Florida’s height played a notable factor in the game, as the Gators swatted a season-high 10 shots – tied for the eighth-most in program history – from six different players, outscored the 49ers, 62-12, in the paint and won the rebounding battle, 55-35.

That height also played a role in Florida’s dishing 30 assists on its 37 field goals. Eight different Gators had at least two of those assists, which was the second-most in program history. The last time the Gators dished as many was on Nov. 27, 2005 against Stetson. Junior Brooke Copeland’s career-best six assists led the team effort.

How it Happened

Long Beach State hit three consecutive three-pointers in a 9-0 run and took an early seven-point lead. Delicia Washington scored the next six points of the game and ignited a 20-5 run that gave Florida a 27-18 lead with 4:34 remaining in the first half.

During the run, senior Ronni Williams put back an offensive rebound that was her 1,000th career point, as she tied the game at 17 and the Gators never trailed again.

The teams traded buckets before the Gators closed the half with a 9-3 march and took a 38-26 halftime lead.

Florida ripped out of the second half scoring the first nine points, the first six by Haley Lorenzen, who finished with 12 points, and the Gators upped their lead to 21 points, 47-26, and were never threatened again.

 Updated Team Records:

  • Florida: 6-1
  • Long Beach State: 3-4

National Rankings:

  • Florida: No. 19 Associated Press; No. 23 USA Today/WBCA
  • Long Beach State: not ranked

Double-Digit Gators

  • Ronni Williams, Haley Lorenzen, Tyshara Fleming and Delicia Washington each scored in double-figures.
  • Williams scored 18 for her 57th career double-figure scoring game, sixth this year. She also collected nine rebounds with three assists and a pair of blocks in 23 minutes.
  • Lorenzen recorded 12 points for the 25th double-digit career game; every game this year.
  • Tyshara Fleming recorded the first double-double of her career with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and blocked shots five in 22 minutes.

Checking the Record Book

  • Florida’s 30 assists were one shy of the program history, set in four different games.
  • The last time the Gators dished 30 was on Nov. 27, 2005, at home against Stetson.
  • Florida blocked 10 shots for the first time since swatting 11 at Temple on Nov. 13, 2015. The school record is 14 blocked shots. Saturday’s game marked the 11th time in program history the Gators have blocked 10 or more shots in a game.
  • Tyshara Fleming led UF’s individual effort with blocked five shots, doing so for the second consecutive game.

Other Numbers of Note

  • Florida hit a season-best 54.4 percent of its shots (37-68).
  • LBSU managed to shoot just 26.6 percent (17-64) from the floor, with a 10-29 effort (34.5 percent) from the three-point arc.

Career Efforts

  • Freshman Delicia Washington tied her career-high with 11 points.
  • Senior Tyshara Fleming collected a career-high 11 rebounds (9 was previous record) and tied her season-high of 11 points
  • Junior Brooke Copeland dished a career-best six assists (4 was her previous record)
  • Freshman Sydney Searcy tied her career-high of nine points
  • Freshman Sydney Morang scored her first collegiate points when she knocked down a three-pointer in front of the Gator bench with 4:52 remaining in the game.

Williams Joins 1,000-Point Club

  • Ronni Williams scored her 1,000th career point with an offensive rebound put-back with 5:50 remaining in the second quarter that tied the game at 17.
  • She entered Saturday’s game with 994 career points, six shy of the 1,000-point milestone.
  • Williams was playing in the 99th game of her career.
  • The last Gator to top the plateau was Kayla Lewis (2010-12, 2013-15), who did so on Feb. 8, 2015 against Tennessee. Lewis ended her career with 1,063 points.
  • Williams becomes the 24th Gator who has scored 1,000-plus points.
  • WATCH: Ronni Williams scoring her 1,000th career point – http://youtu.be/v-e0l_cq8-M

The Updated Series vs. Long Beach State

  • Florida now leads the all-time series, 2-0
  • Florida won a three-point thriller the only other time these two teams played – at the Pyramid back on Dec. 1, 2002.
  • Long Beach State is the preseason favorite to win the Big West Conference.
  • The Beach are a stellar defense unit and have already amassed 73 steals – ranking among the nation’s best. They recorded just six against the Gators on Saturday.
  • The Beach totaled 52 three-pointers through their first six games and added 10 more to that total against the Gators, hitting 10-of-29.

Gators in the Grand Canyon State

  • Sunday’s game is the fifth time Florida will play a game in the state of Arizona and just the first against a team from the state.
  • The last time the Gators played in the state of Arizona was back on March 18, 2006, when UF lost to New Mexico in the first round of the NCAA Tournament played in Tucson.
  • The two tournament games in the ASU Classic are the last the Gators will be playing outside the state of Florida during the calendar year!

Gator Pronunciations for this release:

  • DYANDRIA Anderson: dee-ANN-dree-uh
  • TYSHARA Fleming: tie-SHEER-uh
  • Sydney MORANG: mur-RANG (like meringue pie)
  • Sydney SEARCY: SIR-see

Quoting UF Head Coach Amanda Butler

“We just beat a very good team. We knew that this was going to be challenging because we have not defended the three-point line that well this year and I don’t know that we did a stellar job of it tonight, but we defended everywhere else. You have to credit our defense. The balance that we had today. We had some folks who struggled a bit. Eleanna (Christinaki) struggled with foul trouble and Dyandria (Anderson) was struggling trying to get back into the groove. But we had people who stepped up in a really big way. Sydney (Searcy), who tied her career-high, Tyshara (Fleming), who had a double-double and Ronni (Williams), who was one rebound shy of a double-double. When you outrebound a good team by 20, good things are going to happen. We beat a team that has a chance to win their league and be in the NCAA Tournament.”

“The rebounding battle, which ignites our offense, and so many assisted baskets, which shows chemistry and the way that this team cares for each other, will be hard for teams to overcome when they’re playing us.”

“Sydney Searcy’s play really excited us. The plays that she was making on defense, how aggressive she was. She really made great decisions on offense, really simple decisions but she was very efficient. She was 4-of-6 and anyone will take that field goal percentage.”

“I thought the rebounding effort was what separated us. We did a really good job versus a team that doesn’t just shoot a lot of threes, but tries to force you into a lot of turnovers and to only have 16, while that sounds like a lot, against a team that’s pretty good.”

“The team will head back to the hotel, eat and get some rest tonight. This is where the coaches have to decide the two or three things that we can walk through and talk about on Sunday. The most important thing is for us to get rest. They have a chance to peek at Arizona State a little bit tonight before our game. They understand what this is, though. It’s an NCAA Tournament team on their home floor and we have to bring our best.”

SOCIAL: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram