Gators Down ‘Dawgs for First SEC Win

Florida exploded out of the halftime locker room on an 18-3 lead and then withstood a Georgia’s furious run late for a 76-68 victory at Stegeman Coliseum on Sunday.

The victory was the Gator’s first in Southeastern Conference action, halting a five-game skid, while collecting just the program’s sixth win ever against the Lady Bulldogs in Athens.

During that big third-quarter run, six different Gators scored with only Dyandria Anderson hitting more than one field goal and the second one of hers was a three-point-play.

Florida’s run continued into the fourth quarter where it scored the first four points, however, Georgia flipped the table on the Gators in the final period and scored 14 straight points and cut UF’s 17-point lead to three, 60-57, with 5:32 remaining.

Haley Lorenzen’s jump-hook in the paint ended UF’s scoring draught, but UG came right back with four more points and the Gator lead was down to one, 62-61, with 4:17 on the clock.

Brooke Copeland then launched a high-arching three in front of Florida’s bench and kept the Gators ahead with four minutes to go.

Pachis Roberts, who finished with a game-high 26 points, made her first 14 free throw attempts of the game and finally missed one with 3:13 remaining, as Georgia was within three.

Ronni Williams came back with a tough jumper inside before Roberts drilled a three on the other end and had Georgia within two with 2:46 on the clock.

Freshman Delicia Washington then came back with a tough driving layup to answer the trey and keep Florida’s advantage at four, 69-65, with 1:47 remaining.

Georgia followed with another three-pointer and cut UF’s lead to one with 1:31 left to play.

From there, Williams took control.

She first putback an offense rebound with 56 seconds remaining for a three-point cushion.

Georgia was forced to foul to stop the clock and the Gators converted from the line when they needed to the most, hitting 5-of-6 in the final 37.2 seconds, with Williams hitting all four of her tries and Anderson the other to seal the victory.

Video Highlights and interviews to come soon!

Double-Digit Gators

  • Ronni Williams: 16 points (4-8 FG, 8-9 FT)
  • Delicia Washington: 14 points (6-18 FG)
  • Dyandria Anderson: 13 points tied career-high (4-9 FG, 5-8 FT), 4 assists
  • Haley Lorenzen: 11 points, 10 rebounds – third double-double of season and career

Double-Digits Lady Bulldogs

  • Pachis Roberts: 26 points (5-12 FG, 15-16 FT)
  • Mackenzie Engram: 18 points (7-14 FG)

Updated Records

  • Florida: 10-9, 1-5 SEC
  • Georgia: 10-9, 2-4 SEC

Class Act

  • With today’s win, only Ronni Williams – UF’s lone four-year senior – and the current junior class of Dyandria Anderson, Brooke Copeland and Haley Lorenzen are the only Gators in program history to have defeated Georgia twice in Athens during their career.

 Numbers and News of Note

  • Georgia held the 43-42 rebound edge, but 17 of UF’s were offensive and the Gators turned those into 22 second-chance points.
  • Florida finished 20-30 from the free throw line; Georgia was 22-27
  • There were six lead changes and four tied scores all during the first half.
  • During the first half, Ronni Williams passed Cheryl Fisher (1,221 points from 1977-81) for 19th-place on UF’s all-time scoring list.
  • This was UF’s 15 road game of the season.

The Updated Series: Florida vs. Georgia

  • 69-Game Series: UF trails 16-53 (UF Home: 10-23; Away: 6-28; Neutral: 0-2)
  • Entering Sunday’s game, Georgia had won three straight, as well as seven of the last eight games against Florida.
  • The Gator win during that span was a rare victory (51-48) in Athens on Feb. 12, 2015 That was just the fifth win all-time in Stegeman for UF.
  • This is the second-longest series in UF history, trailing only the 73 played against Florida State.

Welcome Back

  • Freshman Elif Portakal has been sidelined with an injury and missed the last 10 games prior to entering today’s contest at the 5:13 mark of the second quarter.
  • She needed just nine seconds to make her presence felt, finding her way to the free throw line where she made her first attempt and finished the half with three points.

See Ya Real Soon

  • This was the first of two meetings this season between the Gators and Bulldogs.
  • The teams will meet again in Gainesville on Sun., February 28 in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Orange you Glad We Wore these Uniforms

  • For the second time this season, the Gators wore Orange uniforms (also for home opener vs. Southeastern Louisiana, Dec. 28)
  • This is the first time UF has worn orange since the 2007-08 season

We Back Pat

  • Both teams sore wearing special pre-game warmup shirts honoring the late Pat Summitt, whose foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. Purple is the designated color for the disease.

What’s Next for the Gators

  • UF returns to Exactech Arena and plays host to Tennessee on Thur., January 26.
  • Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
  • Streaming video of the game will be available through SEC Network+.

Gator Pronunciations for this Release:

  • DYANDRIA Anderson: dee-ANN-dree-uh
  • DELICIA Washington: duh-LEE-shuh

SOCIAL: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram