Gators Defeat Arkansas in SEC First Round


Florida will play Texas A&M in the second round on Thursday

Ronni Williams recorded a double-double, Dyandria Anderson scored a career-best and Florida exploded out of the halftime locker room from a tied game and outscored Arkansas by 12 in the third quarter en route to a 71-61 victory in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament held at Bon Secours Wellness Arena Wednesday.

During that crucial third quarter, Williams scored 10 of her game-high 23 points, Anderson tallied seven or her 19 points and the Gators connected on 58.3 percent (7-12) of their shots from the floor and hit all nine free throw attempts, while limiting the Razorbacks to a 33.3 percent shooting mark.

Anderson began the third scoring back-to-back driving layups before Arkansas scored six straight points to take a 35-33 lead.

Freshman Delicia Washington converted a pair of free throws, before Williams went to work.

The First Team All-SEC performer scored 10 points during a 12-0 stretch over a 3:38 span that swung the lead in Florida’s favor for good.

Senior Tyshara Fleming, who scored the other two points during Williams’ run and collected three rebounds of her nine during the third quarter, received high praise from UF head coach Amanda Butler for her timely scoring and big rebounds.

The Gators outscored the Razorbacks 19-5 to end the third quarter and held a 52-40 lead.

Florida continued that momentum into the fourth, opening it with an 8-2 run and the Gator lead swelled to 18 points, 60-42, with 6:13 remaining.

The Gators closed out the game at the free throw line where they converted 8-of-13 in the final 3:01 to advance to the second round where they will play Texas A&M on Thursday at approximately 8:25 p.m. ET.

Updated Records

  • Florida: 15-15
  • Arkansas: 13-17

Double-Digit Gators

  • Ronni Williams: 23 points (8-16 FG, 7-10 FT), 12 rebounds – ninth double-double of year, 22nd of career; 26th double-figure scoring game this year, 76th of career; 14th game this year with 20+ points, 15th in career
  • Dyandria Anderson: career-high 19 points (7-10 FG, 5-7 FT), 9 rebounds, five assists, three steals;
  • Delicia Washington: 11 points, 9 rebounds – 18th double-figure scoring game

Double-Digit Razorbacks

  • Jessica Jackson was the only player who scored in double-figures with 10 points

Individual Numbers of Note

  • Anderson dished her 200th career assist during the first half
  • Haley Lorenzen blocked her 100th career shot during the third quarter

Numbers of Note

  • Florida outrebounded UA, 50-32, with 17 of those offensive boards
  • The Gators blocked a season-high-tying 10 shots (also vs. Long Beach State, Dec. 3)
  • UF improved to 15-1 when holding an opponent to under 40 percent shooting
  • Florida attempted 24 of its 26 free throws during the second half
  • There were 8 lead changes and 5 tied scores
  • UF outscored AR 40-28 in the paint
  • The Gators improved to 7-1 playing on neutral courts this season

SEC Tournament Skinny

  • This is the third time the Gators are the No. 11 seed in the SEC Tournament. They sport a 2-2 record with this seed.
  • Florida is 20-36 all-time record in SEC Tournament games.
  • In SEC Tournament games, Florida improves to 5-1 against Arkansas and has never played Texas A&M.

Florida vs. Arkansas: The Updated Series

  • 36-Game Series: UF leads 27-9 (UF Home: 12-3; Away: 10-5; Neutral: 5-1)
  • The Gators won the regular season meeting against the Razorbacks, 57-53, on February 9 in Gainesville.
  • Streak: Florida has won the last four games in the series, as well as seven of the last eight.
  • Trend: 10 of the last 13 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less.

Last 3 have been Tight

  • Florida’s last three games entering Thursday’s SEC Tournament second round have featured a combined 22 lead changes and 24 tied scores, with the Gators coming away with a four-point road loss at Tennessee, a seven-point home win against Georgia and a 10-point victory against Arkansas.

Gripping Gators

  • Over the previous three-plus seasons, the team has played a combined 60 games decided by 10 points or less, with a 32-28 record)
  • In 2016-17, the Gators are 6-9 in games decided 10 points or less (4-7 SEC).

What’s Next for the Gators

  • Who: 11-seed Florida (15-15, 5-11 SEC) vs. 6-seed Texas A&M (19-10, 9-7 SEC)
  • Where: Bon Secours Wellness Arena * Greenville, S.C.
  • When: Thu., March 2 * ~ 8:25 pm ET
  • What: 2017 SEC Tournament – Second Round

Game Coverage & More!

Opening Tip

  • Texas A&M defeated Florida by eight points twice during the regular season
  • The Aggies hold a 6-1 lead in the series and have won the last two – both this season
  • 11 of UF’s last 13 games have been decided by 10 points or less.
  • Florida is 6-9 in games decided by 10 points or less this season, including 4-7 in SEC games.

Gator Pronunciations for this Release:

  • DYANDRIA Anderson: dee-ANN-dree-uh
  • TYSHARA Fleming: tie-SHEER-uh
  • DELICIA Washington: duh-LEE-shuh



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