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Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center - Gainesville, FL

Matharu dominates as Florida cruises by Bethune-Cookman

18 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Gators were back in action at the Exactech Arena Thursday night, defeating Bethune-Cookman for the eighth time in team history. The final score was 83-69, with Aliyah Matharu collecting 25 points to lead the Gators.

Florida leads the all-time series with Bethune-Cookman 8-0.

Dating back to the 2019-20 season, Florida is in the midst of a 24-game home winning streak during nonconference competition, the second-longest streak in program history. The last home loss for the Gators in the nonconference came on Nov. 26, 2019, when Florida State defeated the Gators 66-55.


  • Faith Dut won the tip for the Gators to give Florida initial possession
  • Ra Shaya Kyle recorded six rebounds for the Gators in the first ten minutes 
  • Zippy Broughton hit the court claiming her first points in over 19 months 
  • Alexia Dizeko finished the first quarter knocking down a half-court shot o The half-court shot marked her first career points as a Gator 
  • Aliyah Matharu led Florida in scoring at the end of the first collecting eight points


  • Matharu continued on a scoring run, collecting all of her second quarter points within the first 70 seconds of play
  • Kenza Salgues hit back to back three-point jumpers o Also marking her first career points as a Gator 
  • Florida forced five turnovers on Bethune-Cookman • The Gators collected eight bench points and eight points in the paint


  • Leilani Correa collected her first steal of the game, leading to a fast break layup 
  • The Gators increased their forced turnovers on Bethune-Cookman in the third, totaling seven
  • Florida ended the third shooting 60% from the three and 53% from the field, going 9-of-17
  • Kenza hit another three-point jumper for the Gators, making her 100% from the three going into the final quarter
  • The Gators grabbed 26 points in the third alone making it their highest scoring quarter of the game


  • Ra Shaya Kyle led the Gators in scoring during the final quarter with nine points
  • Florida dominated in the paint with 12 of their 21 points coming from in the paint 
  • Kyle had the game block, towering over Bethune-Cookman in a one hand swat to shift the momentum back in favor of Florida for the last three minutes of play
  • Florida finished out the fourth shooting at 53% from the field


  • Laila Reynolds had her first collegiate start as a Florida Gator and played 20 minutes 
  • Both Kenza Salgues and Alexia Dizeko recorded their first career points as a Gator 
  • Kenza Salgues also went four-of-five from the three-point line in tonight's matchup
  • Aliyah Matharu was only two points away from her career high of 27 (collected at Texas as a junior)

UF coach Kelly Rae Finley on tonight's game:
"The team that can make more runs and sustain more runs is usually the team that wins the game. And so that's something that we have to learn. We have a lot of veterans on our team, but we don't have a lot of people that have played a lot of minutes together. That's something that I expected early on, but I've liked the way we have been coming together. One thing about this team is if we focus on something and slowdown in our minds, we are really good at executing whatever has been asked of us. And I think as a coach that's really comforting.

UF guard Aliyah Matharu on playing Bethune-Cookman and her part in leading:
"I knew they [Bethune-Cookman] was going to be tough and physical, they weren't going to quit no matter how far ahead we were and they showed that. Being able to get my teammates to match my energy has also been a big point and I have been trying to be more vocal on defense at all times. I want to stay positive and keep everyone on the same page."

Florida will return to Exactech Arena on Monday night to play Florida A&M. The matchup is set for 8 pm tip and will be aired on SEC Network.