Gators Open 2023-24 Season with Win over North Florida

The Florida women’s basketball team led from the opening basket to begin the 2023-24 season with a 82-65 win over North Florida Monday evening at the Exactech Arena.

Florida is now 31-19 all-time in season openers.
Since 2000, UF owns of 19-5 record in season openers.
In home openers, the Gators are now 39-11.
Florida leads the series with North Florida 7-0.


  • The first basket of the contest came from Leilani Correa, immediately followed by a defensive steal to give Aliyah Matharu a fast-break layup and Florida an immediate two-possession lead 
  • The Gators out-rebounded the Osprey 11 to nine
  • Leilani Correa led the Gators in scoring with eight points going four-of-five from the field


  • Laila Reynolds recorded her first steal as a Gator  with less than five minutes left in the half
  • The second was the lowest-scoring quarter for the Gators with 13 points from six different players 
  • Ra Shaya Kyle and Leilani Correa led Florida in rebounds with a combined six
  • Florida went into the locker room at half leading 32-26 at half


  • Florida gained its first double-digit lead of the game at 36-26. Florida turned in its high of 27 points in the third quarter
  • In the third quarter alone, Aliyah Matharu hit 11 points and Ra Shaya Kyle scored eight 
  • In the third quarter the Gators finished from the field going 11-of-21 (52.4%) 


  • The Gators were shooting 80% from the field for the first five minutes of the quarter going four-of-five from the field. Florida finished the fourth with its game high of 63 percent from the field 
  • Zipporah Broughton secured a steal for the Gators making her long awaited return known 
  • In the second half, Florida was perfect from the line going six for six 


UF coach Kelly Rae Finley:
“We are really trying to emphasize continuous play in terms of stops and scores. We call those Gators. It’s really important that we continue to learn how to be more physical, embrace rebounding because that ignites our offense. The better we can be defensively, the better we will be offensively.”
(On Aliyah Matharu playing after sitting out a year due to transfer rules):
“We have a group of student-athletes that many times over and over again have chosen to do the hardest thing. For Aliyah [Matharu], the hardest thing for her was to choose ‘Okay, I’m going to sit out and I’m going to grow. I’m gonna work on myself. I’m going to work on my game. I’m going to study the game. I’m going to become a better leader – my voice is going to be important.’ Then on the court, just game strategy management.”

UF center RaShaya Kyle:
“We instill a lot of confidence in each other. We just are hyping each other up – telling each other to shoot the ball. Everything that you do makes a difference – rebounding, steals, defense.”

UF guard Leilani Correa:
“Obviously scoring is important but there’s so many other factors in the game that affect wins, like steals and assists. Obviously, I like to score but being able to contribute on both ends of the floor has been important.” 

The Gators continue season-opening home action Thursday when Bethune-Cookman comes to the Exactech Arena. The Wildcats opened their 2023-24 season tonight with a 101-63 loss at UCF.


Date: Thursday, Nov. 9
Time: 6 p.m. ET
Site: Exactech Arena at Stephen C. O’Connell Center
Stream: SEC Network +
Radio: ESPN Gainesville 98.1 FM / 850 AM
Stats: StatBroadcast