Florida outlasts Vanderbilt 93-73

Jan. 29, 2017

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt women were unable to slow down the SEC’s leading scorer on Sunday.

Florida’s Ronni Williams exploded for a career-high 43 points and also pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds to help the Gators saddle the Commodores with a 93-73 loss at Memorial Gym.

Williams, who came into the game averaging a conference-best 18.3 points per game, went 14-of-23 from the floor and 15-of-17 from the foul line. She scored 27 of her 43 points in the second half to lead Florida (11-10, 2-6) to its third straight win on Vanderbilt’s home court.

The Commodores (11-11, 1-8), who were coming off an 87-80 win over Alabama on Thursday night, were led by Rebekah Dahlman’s 18 points. Kayla Overbeck had her fifth double-double of the season, finishing with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Erin Whalen and Rachel Bell added 14 points apiece for Vanderbilt. Delicia Washington had 20 points for Florida.

The Commodores, who entered the day ranked third in the country in 3-point accuracy, went 11-of-27 from long range. But the outside shooting wasn’t enough to offset the huge performance by Williams and the Gators.

Florida led 19-8 at the end of the first quarter and carried a 37-28 lead into the half. The Gators maintained a double-digit lead throughout the third quarter and owned a 65-46 advantage after a free throw by Williams with 8:40 to play in the game.

The Commodores then put together their biggest surge of the game, reeling off a 10-0 run to trim Florida’s lead to 65-56 with 5:16 remaining. Dahlman ignited the run with five quick points — including a 3-pointer and a pair free throws — and Whalen also knocked down a 3. Bell capped the surge with two free throws.

But Williams halted the Commodores’ run with a jumper at the 4:57 mark, and she followed that with a pair of free throws to push Florida’s lead to 69-56. Vanderbilt cut the deficit to 74-64 on a 3-pointer by Dahlman with 3:11 to go, but Sydney Morang responded with a 3-pointer for the Gators, and Vanderbilt never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way.

Florida closed out the victory with a continuous stream of free throws, going 20-of-27 in the final 10 minutes. The Gators were 25-of-33 from the line for the game; Vanderbilt was 14-of-16.

With Williams leading the charge, Florida outscored Vanderbilt 46-24 in the paint, and the Gators won the rebounding battle, 50-42.

Vanderbilt’s is idle until next Sunday, when the Commodores visit Kentucky.