Gators forward Alberte Rimdal flashed to the left corner and relieved teammate Kristina Moore from a swarm of suffocating Alabama defenders.
Rimdal hesitated briefly — even though there were seemingly no bad shots for the freshman Sunday — before sinking a much-needed 3-pointer to cut the Alabama lead to a single possession.
The Danish international continued her shooting frenzy throughout the game to help Florida women’s basketball (13-5, 3-2) secure an 85-77 victory on the road over Alabama (10-7, 1-5). Rimdal displayed great efficiency and finished with 17 points on a perfect 6-6 shooting from the field, splashing in five from behind the arch.
Interim coach Kelly Rae Finley said after the game that she is pleased with Rimdal’s ability to stretch the floor and open up driving lanes for others to capitalize on.
“Her shot-making ability is really something unique,” Finley said. “She was absolutely perfect from the floor and defensively did a lot of good things for us as well.”
Florida faced a severely depleted Alabama team that had only eight players suited up for the contest. The Crimson Tide were without a primary ball-handler senior Hannah Barber, which heaped much of the responsibility into the capable hands of senior Megan Abrams and junior Jamya Mingo-Young.
Mingo-Young and Abrams scored 18 and 22 points respectively in a game the Crimson Tide led for the majority of the second half.
Florida applied stifling defensive pressure from start to finish. Junior Faith Dut tallied three blocks in the first half and ended the night with 14 points.
Graduate senior Kiara Smith and sophomore Jordyn Merritt helped lead the full-court pressure that eventually tired out the Crimson Tide, they missed six straight shots before the final minute of the game.
With 6:37 remaining in the fourth quarter, Smith took an awkward fall as she was driving towards the basket. Florida’s leading scorer later returned to the bench, but not much is known about her health moving forward. Smith did not check back in for the remainder of the game.
“I don't have any updates on her,” Finley said. “But knowing her I'm sure that she will compete for us on Thursday would be my guess.”
Fortunately for the Gators, Moore iced the game out with veteran minutes down the stretch. She whipped the ball with confidence across the court and connected on four of six free throws to put the game out of Alabama’s reach.
“Kristina is composed,” Finley said. “We trust her with the ball in her hand.”
Florida now looks to make it four straight victories against SEC opponents as they travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to face the Wildcats on Jan. 20.
The game is set to begin at 7 p.m. and can be streamed on SEC Network Plus.
Contact Brenda Bogle at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @bogle_brenda
Brenda Bogle is a UF journalism senior with a specialization in sports and media. She joined The Alligator in the Fall of 2021.