Ronni Williams Scores Career-High 43 in Win at Vandy


Final Box:


Postgame intervews with Amanda Butler and Ronni Williams – to come

Florida’s Ronni Williams scored a career-high 43 points and led the Gators to a 93-73 win against Vanderbilt at Memorial Gym Sunday afternoon.

Williams’ offensive outburst was the third highest individual scoring total in program history, just behind the 45 points from Quientella Bonner on January 22, 1977 and the 44 by Merlakia Jones on January 25, 1995.

Not only did Williams lead Sunday’s scoring efforts, she collected a season and game-high 14 rebounds, with five of those coming on the offensive end that helped the Gators corral 18 in the game that helped them to 19 second-chance points.

Frontcourt mate Tyshara Fleming helped inside and posted her second straight double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while freshman Delicia Washington added 20 points with seven rebounds.

On Sunday, Florida used a 13-1 run that ended the first quarter and began the second to take a 21-8 lead.

The SEC’s top three-point shooting team then began to find its stroke from long range and the Commodores next five buckets were from beyond the arc, as the hosts chipped away at Florida’s advantage and cut it to five with under two minutes left in the first half.

Dyandria Anderson gave the Gators a little breathing room with four seconds remaining the first half when she knocked down their first three of the game and Florida took a 36-28 halftime lead.

Despite two early fouls, Williams still contributed 10 points in the first half, while Fleming also reached double-figures on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor to accompany five rebounds.

Anderson’s long-range bucket to end the first half gave the Gators the momentum into the second where they opened on a quick 8-2 run, with Washington and Williams both accounting for four points and Florida’s lead was at 14 points, 44-30.

The teams went back and forth a bit before the Gators used a 6-0 spurt and grew their lead to 54-36 with 2:03 remaining in the third quarter. Vanderbilt again chipped away but Williams hit a jumper with six seconds left in the third and the Gators took a 15-point advantage into the fourth quarter.

Florida opened the final frame on a 7-3 march for a 65-46 cushion and the Gators needed it, as Vanderbilt heated up again from beyond the arc, using a pair during a 10-0 run that cut Florida’s lead to nine points, 65-56, with 5:16 remaining.

The Gators maintained their composure and withstood the long-range barrage to earn their second SEC road win of the year.

Updated Records

  • Florida: 11-10, 2-6 SEC
  • Vanderbilt: 11-11, 1-8 SEC

Double-Digit Gators

  • Ronni Williams: 43 points (14-23 FG, 15-17 FT), 14 rebounds; 17th double-figure scoring game this year, 68th in career; fifth straight double-figure scoring game; eighth 20-point game this year, eighth in career; sixth double-double this year, 19th in career
  • Tyshara Fleming: 12 points (5-8 FG, 24 FT), 12 rebounds; ninth double-figure scoring game this year, 13th of career; third double-double this year and second in as many games
  • Delicia Washington: 20 points (9-20 FG, 2-4 FT), 7 rebounds; 17th double-figure scoring game; second time scoring 20+ in a game

Double-Digit Commodores

  • Rebekah Dahlman: 18 points (5-8 FG, 4-6 3-FG, 4-4 FT)
  • Three others with 14 points each

Ronni in Rare Air

  • Ronni Williams scored a career-high 43 points, the third-most in a game in program history.
  • Other Gators with 40-or-more points in a game:

o   45 – Quientella Bonner vs. UT Chattanooga (1/22/77)

o   44 – Merlakia Jones vs. Texas (1/25/95)

  • Ronni Williams became just the sixth Gator with three or more 30-point games in a career, joining Merlakia Jones (5), DeLisha Milton (4), Tammy Jackson (4), Vanessa Hayden (3) and Brandi McCain (3)
  • Williams’ 43 points are the most by an SEC player in an game this season.

Numbers of Note

  • Sunday’s game was Florida’s 16 on the road this season
  • Florida improved to 3-0 this year when wearing orange uniforms. This is the first season the Gators have donned orange since 2007-08.
  • Vanderbilt’s 11 three-pointers were tied for the most by an opponent this season (Auburn, Jan. 1)

Individual Numbers of Note

  • Freshman Delicia Washington scored her 200th point of the season
  • Dyandria Anderson connected on her eighth three-pointer of the season and her first since January 12 at Mississippi State.

Quotes from UF Head Coach Amanda Butler:

On Ronni Williams:

“I’ll tell you what – that girl is a warrior. She understands how important she is to her team and she knows that she has to score points for us. More than that, she knows she has to lead and set an example of battling on every single play. I don’t think she could have done that any better than she did that tonight. I couldn’t be more proud.”

On the game in general:

“We felt like we could pressure them into some bad decisions early and I think that we did that. The first five responded and set that tone defensively. I’m thrilled that we scored 93 points, but our ability in certain spots to grab big rebounds – again 18 offensive rebounds against any SEC team is quite an accomplishment, it’s a team accomplishment – then we’re really tough to beat.”

Why Vanderbilt’s 11 three-pointers didn’t affect the game as much:

“I think we did a decent job. There was one point when (Rebekah) Dahlman hit back to back. We did a good job of not letting their shooters get into a rhythm. We saw them dominate the first quarter against Alabama when they hit three threes in a row and we wanted to not let those guys see the rim and not let them get comfortable. We did a few different things to keep them off balance. I thought we did a great job of whenever they made a run at us, we answered and I think that shows a great deal of leadership and maturity.”

The Updated Series: Florida vs. Vanderbilt

  • 56-game Series: UF trails 23-33 (UF Home: 11-13; Away: 9-16; Neutral: 3-4)
  • Florida won last year’s game against Vanderbilt, 79-67, in Gainesville.
  • Prior to Sunday, seven of the last 10 games in the series have been decided by single digits, and all 10 have been decided by 12 points or less.
  • Prior to Sunday, three of the last eight games have gone to overtime.
  • Florida has now won four of the last five against Vandy.
  • Each of the last 11 meetings in the series have come during the month of February. This is the first time the teams are meeting in January since Jan. 31, 2008.

What’s Next for the Gators

  • Who: Florida at Texas A&M (15-5, 5-2 SEC) – played at No. 4 Mississippi State on Sunday
  • When: Thu., February 2 * 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT
  • Where: College Station, Texas
  • Of Note: This will be the second meeting this year between the Gators and Aggies, who took the 67-59 decision in Gainesville on January 15.

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