Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Sunday, November 28, 2021
<p>Sophomore Ronni Williams drives down the lane during Florida's 77-42 loss to No. 1 South Carolina on Monday in the O'Connell Center.</p>

Sophomore Ronni Williams drives down the lane during Florida's 77-42 loss to No. 1 South Carolina on Monday in the O'Connell Center.

Florida may not have gone into Tuesday night’s matchup with Savannah State thinking about vengeance, but that’s exactly what it got.

Last year, the Gators went to Savannah, Georgia, for a matchup with the Tigers in early December. They were handed a demoralizing 10-point loss.

This year, they didn’t find themselves demoralized.

But Savannah State may have been.

The Gators (3-1) thrashed the Tigers (1-2) 99-34, recording the largest margin of victory in Amanda Butler’s tenure as head coach. Florida came only four points shy of tying the program record, a 69-point victory over Lynn University in 1995.

“I think more than anything, this team was just concerned with being their best today,” coach Amanda Butler said.

“Any thoughts of last year were (that) this is a dangerous team, this is a team that has a chance to win their league and be in the NCAA tournament, and we want to make sure that we give them our best shot.”

While UF’s offense was certainly impressive, the defense was even more so. In the second quarter of the game, UF held Savannah State without a single bucket.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever coached or been in a game where we held a team scoreless for a 10-minute segment,” Butler said. “I think this was great attention to detail. Our intensity was exactly where it needed to be and it didn’t waver. And I think when we play that way, we’re a fantastic defensive unit.”

The defensive effort was punctuated by forward Ronni Williams and center Tyshara Fleming.

Fleming had just one block, but Savannah State felt Fleming’s intimidating 6-foot-4 presence whenever she was on the floor. Despite playing only nine minutes, the junior managed to add 11 points and eight rebounds.

Williams had three blocked shots, one of which took a cameraman’s hat clean off. The junior also led Florida in both points with 16 and rebounds with 10.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

After the game, Williams explained UF’s motivation to continue producing despite the lopsided score.

“We play for each other. Every game, we make that be known,” she said.

“We’re doing this for each other, so with that being said, we just come out and play our hardest for each other.”

Even though Florida stopped full-court pressing towards the end of the game, Butler was happy that her team never lost any intensity and continued to play for each other.

One final punctuation mark on the victory came from a fairly unlikely source: redshirt senior forward Viktorija Dimaite.

After missing her first three seasons at UF due to injuries and playing just 116 minutes last season, Dimaite hit the first three-pointer of her career.

“It was beautiful,” Williams said of Dimaite’s shot.

“When she shoots the three, I just get the chills.”

In a way, Dimaite’s shot was emblematic of the Gators’ season so far: surprising if you’re an outsider, but expected if you’re part of the team.

“I was really excited, but I knew that she could shoot that,” Miller said.

“So it wasn’t a surprise.”

Next, Florida will head to Boulder, Colorado, to face Ball State on Friday at 7 p.m.

 Follow Ethan Bauer on Twitter @ebaueri

Sophomore Ronni Williams drives down the lane during Florida's 77-42 loss to No. 1 South Carolina on Monday in the O'Connell Center.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2021 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.