GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Point guard Aliyah Matharu led all scorers with 22 points and paced three other Florida teammates into double-figure scoring Monday night, as the Gators defeated Florida A&M 92-54 at Exactech Arena to remain unbeaten three games into the 2023-24 season. Matharu, the senior transfer from Texas, hit nine of her 18 field-goal attempts, including a trio of 3-pointers, to go with seven rebounds and three assists.
UF, which shot 48.6 percent for the game, also got a career-high 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting from heralded freshman forward Laila Reynolds, the 2023 McDonald's All American, who was making a second consecutive start while junior guard Alberte Rimdal sat out with a lower body injury. Senior center Ra Shaya Kyle had 15 points and nine boards and senior forward Leilani Correa pitched in 14 points, including a 4-for-6 performance from distance.
GATORS OPENING UP WITH THREE WINS
This is the 10th time Florida has opened with a 3-0 record. The other seasons: 1983-84, 1984-85, 1990-91, 1995-96, 1997-98, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2016-17 and 2019-20. SERIES RECORD Florida leads the all-time series with FAMU 12-5. This is UF's fifth consecutive win versus the Rattlers.
Dating back to the 2019-20 season, Florida is currently on a 25-game home winning streak during non-conference competition. This marks the second-longest streak in school history. The Gators' last non-conference at home was on Nov. 26, 2019, when Florida State defeated UF 66-55.
IN THE FIRST:
Matharu collected back-to-back driving layups, drawing fouls on both, to give the Gators additional scoring opportunities early in the game. Florida ended the first quarter with 18 field-goal attempts. The only quarter the Rattlers out-rebounded Florida was in the first (14-10). The Gators totaled four steals and forced six turnovers. Florida held possession for eight of the first 10 minutes.
IN THE SECOND:
Faith Dut hit her first 3-pointer of the season. Matharu tallied seven points and three rebounds in the second quarter to finish the half leading all players with 19 points and five rebounds. Florida forced eight turnovers to convert for 10 points. The Gators' second-quarter 28 points were spread across seven players: Matharu (7) Kyle (6) Reynolds (4) Jeriah Warren (4) Dut (3) Corrrea and Eriny Kindred, (2) Florida finished the quarter shooting 63 percent from the field going 10-of-16.
IN THE THIRD:
The Gators grabbed 15 rebounds. That included five different Gators with two or more rebounds. Kyle led the Gators in the third quarter with seven points. Florida out-rebounded the Rattlers 15-9.
IN THE FOURTH:
Correa started the final quarter with her fourth 3-pointer of the game. Florida finished at 64 percent from the field in the period (9-of-14). Reynolds led the Gators with six points, hitting all three of her shots in the quarter.
This was the second consecutive game Matharu led UF in scoring with 22 points. She had 25 points on Nov. 9 versus Bethune-Cookman. The Gators scored at least 20 points in every quarter. Tonight's 92 points is Florida's season high (previous high was 83 against BCC).