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Thursday, April 18, 2024
<p>Eleanna Christinaki looks to drive to the basket while two Kentucky players defend her during Florida's 92-69 loss to the Wildcats in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals on March 4, 2016, in Jacksonville.</p>

Eleanna Christinaki looks to drive to the basket while two Kentucky players defend her during Florida's 92-69 loss to the Wildcats in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals on March 4, 2016, in Jacksonville.

As Eleanna Christinaki goes, the Florida Gators women’s basketball team goes.

The second-year guard out of Athens, Greece, drives the offense — averaging 22 points per contest, Christinaki has led her team in scoring in each of its first three games, helping UF defeat opponents by an average of 23.3 points per game.

Her hot start has landed her among the nation’s 25 highest scorers, and after Tuesday night’s game against Arkansas State (0-4), Christinaki is showing no signs of slowing down.

Despite fouling out in 22 minutes of play, the dynamic guard bucketed 23 points, registering a team-high +12 rating en route to No. 16 Florida’s (4-0) 71-60 win over the Red Wolves in Jonesboro.

However, the dynamic forward didn’t do it all herself.

Reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week Delicia Washington got the Gators on the board early — after stealing the ball, the guard from Glen St. Mary, Florida, drained a three-pointer, giving UF a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Point guard Dyandria Anderson chipped in four rebounds and two assists in the first 10 minutes alone. She finished with a team-leading nine assists — three more than her teammates combined.

“I thought Dyandria Anderson was a highlight,” UF coach Amanda Butler said in a release. “I think that's just a stellar performance all the way around for her.”

The Gators led by as much as 14 points throughout the contest, holding an advantage for 37:42 to their opponent’s 1:19.

Florida also held the Red Wolves to 30.3-percent shooting on the night. Excluding senior guard Dominique Oliver, Arkansas State shot a paltry 13-for-48 from the field, converting 27 percent of its attempts.

Getting contributions throughout the lineup, UF snapped Arkansas State’s 25-game home winning streak at the Convocation Center.

And yet, Butler wasn’t pleased.

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Perimeter defense continued to be an area of weakness. Florida allowed Arkansas State’s shooters to convert on 41 percent of its attempts, its highest percentage allowed all season.

“It wasn't one of our better performances,” Butler said. “The best thing about today's game is that we learned more things about ourselves and we made plays when we had to."

Contact Alejandro López at alopez@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @ajlb95.

Eleanna Christinaki looks to drive to the basket while two Kentucky players defend her during Florida's 92-69 loss to the Wildcats in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals on March 4, 2016, in Jacksonville.

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