Gators Triumph Over Paladins Behind Rimdal’s Career-Effort

Florida women’s basketball claimed their second-straight victory on Monday evening, defeating Furman, 77-50, behind a career-effort from Alberte Rimdal.
The sophomore paced the Gators (4-1, 0-0 SEC) with 19 points, including four buckets from three-point land, while Leilani Correa (17), Nina Rickards (15) and Ra Shaya Kyle (12) all ended in double-figures. It was a successful outing from the field, as the UF shot 27-of-59 (45.8%) from the field and 10-of-26 (38.5%) from long range.
Of the 27 made baskets, 22 were assisted on by the Gators, with Rickards dishing out seven assists to lead Florida for the third-straight game. Sophomore Jeriah Warren contributed a career-best four assists.
Kyle brought down a team-high seven rebounds to lead the Orange & Blue, but Furman (2-3, 0-0 SOCON) ended with an advantage on the glass, 38-33. Frieda Bühner, Jordyn Merritt and Rickards each tallied four rebounds.
Defensively, Florida held the Paladins to 13-of-52 (25%) shooting from the field and just 3-of-12 (25%) from long range. The Gators ended with 16 steals, with Rickards swiping five of them, in addition to forcing 24 turnovers. In another impressive feat, eight different Gators recorded a block.
The Paladins came out swinging, scoring the game’s first four points and eventually claiming an 11-6 advantage with 6:48 left in the quarter. From there, it was all Gators. The Orange & Blue turned the defense up a notch, holding Furman scoreless over the final 6:48 while closing on a 14-0 run to take a 20-11 lead into the second quarter. Correa was again a crucial piece off of the bench, scoring eight in the first to pace the Gators.
Florida’s defense continued to excel, holding Furman scoreless until the 7:18 mark of the second quarter when the Paladins pulled within six following a Jaelyn Acker and-one conversion. The defense once again hit a new gear, boosting a UF to a 10-0 run which featured Rimdal’s third and fourth threes of the half and extending their lead to 30-14 with just over four minutes left. The Gators would end up taking a 34-17 lead into the break following the 14-3 run over the final 7:09. Florida forced 13 turnovers in the first half.
Rimdal continued to be a force for the Gators into the third period, opening the second half by drawing a foul on a three-point attempt and draining all three free throws. A Deans triple with 8:49 left pushed the Florida lead to 20, but a 10-0 run from 6:05-2:44, capped off by a Rickards layup off of a dime from Correa, gave the Orange & Blue a 53-23 lead and the rest was elementary. The Gators went on to claim a 77-50 victory.
In the second half, Furman was held to just 6-of-25 (24.0%) shooting from the field while turning the ball over 11 times.
Up Next
The Gators will head to St. Petersburg, Fla., for the St. Pete Showcase from Nov. 24-26 where they will meet Green Bay on Thursday, Nov. 24, and Houston on Saturday, Nov. 26. The tournament will be streamed live of FloHoops.
Head Coach Kelly Rae Finley
On Monday’s three-point shooting…
“I mean Berte can kind of speak to that, but I really believe in the skills that each of our student athletes have, and they all have the green light. I think that as we grow as a team, we’re learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses. And we really don’t have time to waste or to invest in weaknesses right now. We really spend a lot of time trying to figure out where our advantages are and with Leilani, Birdie, KK, Nina, our forwards are working tirelessly to be able to stretch the floor on the perimeter as well. They’re working every day on their skill work and I’m really proud of them for that.”
On the performance by Rimdal…
“Every night hasn’t been Berte’s night, but I just told her as we were coming up here, I though she played a tremendous game, but I really didn’t feel like she played any different then she had the first three games. The difference was everybody else heralds her as having a great game. She was plus twenty-six on the night, but last game she was plus twenty-one. And so that’s been great to have the consistency that she brings to our team.” 
On how the team gels together…
“I think we’ve had over twenty assists each time out or right around there. It’s really fun to play on an unselfish team on the offensive end of the floor. We’ve been working really hard on being just as unselfish on the defensive end of the floor. With that comes taking pride in your own defense but understanding that they score against us, not one-person scores against one person. Our job is to stop the ball from going in the basket, as silly as that sounds that’s the name of the game. The team that scores more or stops more wins the game, right, and so to not get away from that and really stay focused on that on both ends of the floor is really fun to coach.” 
Sophomore Guard Alberte Rimdal
On how she thought the game went…
“I felt like we played a really good game. We played together today, we played with a lot of intensity on the defensive end and I felt like when we put pressure on defense, the offense comes easier. I just felt like we played great together.
On the disruptive defense…
“It was a focus point of ours to really set the tone and pressure the guards. When they’re pressured, it’s easier to get deflections and steals.”
– Florida now leads the series history with Furman, 3-0.  
– Alberte Rimdal’s 19 points mark a career-high, as do her five made free throws.
– The Gators improve to 16-0 under Kelly Rae Finley when holding opponents to under 60 points.
– Ten triples for the Gators marked the first time this season of recording double-digit threes.
– Eight blocks from the Orange & Blue is the most since tallying nine at Kentucky on Jan. 20, 2022.
– At the time of publication, it is believed Monday’s effort on defense marks the first time in school history that eight different athletes have recorded a block in the same game.