Gators dominate Southeastern Louisiana, 102-51
Published: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 10:44 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 10:44 p.m.
After playing the first 12 games of the season away from Gainesville, senior forward Ronni Williams was ready to put on a show Wednesday.
Williams, UF's talented and versatile forward from Daytona Beach, scored a career-high 34 points and added 12 rebounds in a dominating double-double performance to lead the Gators to a 102-51 win over Southeastern Louisiana.
Playing before an appreciative audience of 1,619 in the new Exactech Arena at the O'Connell Center, Williams connected on 14-of-16 shots from the field, was 6-of-7 from the free-throw line, and added three assists, two blocks and two steals in 26 minutes of action in leading the Gators (9-4) to a big win while dropping the Lions to 2-9.
The game was the first matchup in history between the two programs as well as being UF's home opener.
“Having a crowd like we had tonight was just amazing,” Williams said. “Being in our own home was just exciting for all of us. We got to have our own pregame here together in our own room, and everything was just amazing.”
UF, which dressed out just eight players for the game, had five of them score in double figures led by Williams.
Junior Haley Lorenzen added 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for her first career double-double, freshman Delicia Washington had 14 points and six steals, and senior center Tyshara Fleming and junior guard Dyandria Anderson each added 11 points, with Fleming grabbing eight rebounds.
All eight UF players scored, with freshman Sydney Searcy just missing double digits with nine points.
Southeastern Louisiana was led by eight points apiece from Courtney Dawsey and Baylie Stears.
“I thought it was a great team performance,” UF coach Amanda Butler said. “When we are that explosive to start the game and really establish ourselves the way that we did, Ronni was responsible for a lot of that tone. But you've got to give credit to her teammates also for the way that they followed her lead.
“We're a great team, and we looked exactly the way we want to look.”
UF, which took a 36-10 lead after the first quarter, went on to shoot 52.2 percent from the field while holding the Lions to 35.7 percent for the game.
The Gators return to the Exactech Arena to face Southeastern Conference foe Auburn at 2 p.m. Sunday in the league opener for both squads.
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