As Ronni Williams strolled off the court at Memorial Gymnasium for the final time on Sunday afternoon, she was drenched in sweat and breathing heavily.
Nevertheless, the senior still managed to put on a smile as her teammates and coaches swarmed her with hugs and high-fives on Florida’s sideline.
Playing on the road against Vanderbilt, Williams put on an absolute show for the Commodore faithful this weekend, notching a career-high 43 points as well as 14 rebounds, four steals and three assists to lead the Gators to a 93-73 victory.
The Daytona Beach native shot 14-of-23 from the field and connected on 15-of-17 attempts from the charity stripe to complete one of the greatest offensive performances by a UF player in program history.
Williams’ 43 points are the most from a Gator in over two decades, when Merlakia Jones scored 44 points on Jan. 25, 1995.
Quientella Bonner holds Florida’s all-time single game scoring record with 45 points on Jan. 22, 1977.
“I’ll tell you what: That girl is a warrior,” coach Amanda Butler said of Williams in a release. “She understands how important she is to her team, and she knows that she has to score points for us… I couldn’t be more proud.”
UF (11-10, 2-6 SEC) also got efficient outings from freshman guard Delicia Washington and senior center Tyshara Fleming, who tallied 20 and 12 points, respectively.
Putting individual success aside, the Gators dominated Vanderbilt on the boards, converting 18 offensive rebounds into 19 second-chance points.
While the Commodores (11-11, 1-8 SEC) did knock down 11 jumpers from behind the three-point arc, Florida held them to 33.8-percent shooting from the floor, drawing praise from Butler after the contest for her team’s defensive pressure.
“We did a few different things to keep them off balance,” she said. “I thought we did a great job of whenever they made a run at us, we answered. And I think that shows a great deal of leadership and maturity.”
UF set the tone early on against Vanderbilt with a strong first quarter, holding its opponent to 23.1 percent shooting in the frame to take a 19-8 lead.
The Gators then turned it on offensively in the second-half, scoring 57 points in the final 20 minutes of action to clinch their second SEC victory of 2017.
Following the win, Butler was pleased with her team’s scoring effort but was even more proud of her team’s performance on the glass.
“I’m thrilled that we scored 93 points, but our ability in certain spots to grab big rebounds … it’s a team accomplishment.”
UF forward Ronni Williams dribbles the ball during Florida's 102-51 win over Southeastern Louisiana on Dec. 28, 2016, in the O'Connell Center.