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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Gators cruise to victory against Presbyterian

Florida overcame a shaky second quarter for a dominant 26-point victory

Sophomore guard Alberte Rimdal dishes a pass during Florida's game against Bethune-Cookman Friday Nov. 18, 2022. Rimdal was one of three Gators to score double-digits against Presbyterian Tuesday night.
Sophomore guard Alberte Rimdal dishes a pass during Florida's game against Bethune-Cookman Friday Nov. 18, 2022. Rimdal was one of three Gators to score double-digits against Presbyterian Tuesday night.

Midway through the third quarter, sophomore guard Alberte Rimdal drove to the basket for a layup. On the following possession, she blocked a layup and forced a Presbyterian turnover.

Rimdal left her mark on Tuesday night’s game night with 17 points, two steals and one block, which contributed to the Florida Gators’ win over the Presbyterian Blue Hose. 

UF head coach Kelly Rae Finley took note of Rimdal’s consistency on both ends of the court and how her play has helped her team win games this season. 

The Gators (9-1) defeated Presbyterian (3-6) 78-52 in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Tuesday. Florida shot an impressive 46% from the field and made seven of its 13 attempts from beyond the arc. Three Gators scored in double-figures — Rimdal, senior guard KK Deans with 18 points and junior center Ra Shaya Kyle with 12. 

Ten games into the season, the Gator’s resiliency has been the key to their success, Finley said. 

“Our attention to detail down the stretch and our execution borders on being elite,” she said.

Rimdal got the Gators’ offense started in their first two possessions with a layup and a corner 3-pointer. Florida made four of its first five jump shots to command an early lead.

The Gators went on a 6-0 run to push their lead to double digits in the first quarter, which was emphasized by a steal and score by sophomore forward Taliyah Wyche. Florida’s shooting cooled down, but the defense kept it in front with nine forced turnovers. UF scored 12 of its 22 first-quarter points off of turnovers.

Florida opened the second quarter with a Rimdal 3-pointer, but then it allowed a 9-0 Presbyterian run to let the Blue Hose back into the game. Presbyterian guard Christina Kline scored a fast-break layup to cut the Gators’ lead to just two points early in the second quarter. 

Kyle scored down low to end the Blue Hose run, but Presbyterian guard Mara Neira hit a 3-pointer on the other side to cut the lead to just one point. Kline hit a midrange shot later to give the Blue Hose their first lead of the game, 28-27.

Florida pushed back in front with a layup by senior guard Nina Rickards. Deans later heaved up a 3-point shot as the shot clock expired to push UF’s lead to eight points. She later sparked the Gators offensively, hitting a long 2-point shot

Florida went on a 13-2 run over the last five minutes of the second quarter to reestablish its double-digit advantage at the half, 40-30. UF finished the first half shooting 57% from beyond the arc, making four of its seven 3-point attempts.

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Deans opened the second half with a 3-pointer, and Rimdal followed her up with two layups later in the third quarter. The Gators went on a two-minute-long scoring drought later in the quarter before Deans and Rimdal hit back-to-back 3-pointers to break the cold spell.

The Blue Hose finished the third quarter with just one made field goal in their last nine attempts. Presbyterian ended the quarter with a 23% field goal percentage overall. 

Florida started the final quarter on a 6-0 run capped off with a Deans jump shot leading to a Presbyterian timeout. The Blue Hose went on a 6-0 run of their own to claw back into the game, but a Kyle layup pushed the Gators’ lead back to 20 points. Late free throws helped Florida put the game out of reach. 

The Gators’ pace of play was a strength of theirs, Deans said. Her team enjoys running in transition, she said, and it is an advantage to her squad not having to run a set every time.

Florida’s next game will be on the road against the Miami Hurricanes Sunday at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network. 

Contact Jackson Reyes at jacksonreyes@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @JacksnReyes.

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Jackson Reyes

Jackson Reyes is a UF journalism senior and The Alligator's Fall 2023 Sports Editor. He previously served as Digital Managing Editor and was a reporter and assistant editor on the sports desk. In his free time, he enjoys collecting records, long walks on the beach and watching Bo Nix.


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