Gator Women End Three Game Losing Streak, Down Auburn
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Every Gator contributed at least six points and six logging a double-figure scoring effort in Florida’s 87-69 win against Auburn in front of 3,114 fans in the O’Connell Center on Sunday.
Senior guard Jaterra Bonds led the way with 18 points and Kayla Lewis added 13 points and 13 rebounds to highlight just two of the great individual performances by the Gators. January Miller and Lily Svete both scored 12 points, while Cassie Peoples and Ronni Williams charted 10 apiece as Florida improved to 10-2 at home this season.
Bonds used a free throw with 4:27 left on the clock to become the No. 2 leading free throw scorer in Gator history. Meanwhile Lewis notched the fourth double-double of her season and seventh of her career.
Florida earned a 41-34 halftime lead and started the second-half scoring when Bonds made a pair of free throws early. Back-to-back Auburn buckets trimmed the Gator lead to five, but Carlie Needles sank a layin on a pass from Lewis that came from one of Bond’s three steals.
Another jumper by Tyrese Tanner cut the score to 45-40 just 2:34 into the final frame.
That’s when the Gators went on a game-changing 27-7 run over the next 6:57, beginning with eight consecutive points by Lewis. She hit a rare three-pointer and soon afterwards she added a pair of layups and a free throw.
Thanks to a three-point play by January Miller, Florida stretched its lead to 11 points, 56-45. Bannister hit a three, Miller hit a pair of free throws and then Lewis had a three-point play to put the Gators up 64-45, with 12:53 remaining. The rest of the game was a one-point differential and Florida captured its fourth consecutive win versus Auburn.
Despite all five of Auburn’s starters scoring in double-figures and the Tigers outrebounding the Gators, 48-34, the Gator win was fueled by a defensive effort that forced 22 turnovers in the contest that Florida converted into 24 points. The first half saw 7 ties and 5 lead changes, but when the Gators broke away with 9:58 left in the first half, they never looked back.
Auburn put points on the board first with a layup from Tra’cee Tanner, but Florida answered quickly as both teams began the game with a pair of layups and a three pointer. In the first 4:10, Florida went 4-for-4 from the field, with four different players making shots (Williams, Carlie Needles, Bonds and Cassie Peoples).
The teams stayed neck in neck, trading baskets and never leading by more than three points for the next few minutes. With the score tied 18-all, Lily Svete sank both a three-pointer and jumper to put the Gators up by 5 for the largest lead of the game, 23-18, and one which they never relinquished. After a lone Auburn free throw by Hasina Muhammed, Svete hit another thee-pointer to push the Florida lead to seven.
When Bannister scored a three-pointer with a little more than six minutes remaining in the half, it marked the 13th time this season Florida relied on its entire lineup, as all Gators suited up for the matchup scored. Bannister’s bucket, her first three since the Nov. 17 game at Kennesaw State, put the score at 33-27.
A steal and layup by Muhammed with a little less than 5 minutes remaining in the half cut the Gators lead to one point, 33-32. Bannister missed a three and the Tigers got the ball back with the chance to take the lead, but the Gators’ defense stepped up and forced a shot clock violation. Bonds stepped up with two jumpers, Svete added a three and Peoples made a free throw to extend the Gators’ lead. Florida entered the locker room with a 41-34 advantage, with Svete leading all scorers with 11 points.
Updated Records: Florida 14-6, 4-3 SEC … Auburn 11-9, 2-5 SEC
VIDEO: Postgame press conference and highlights (Coach Butler, Jaterra Bonds, Lily Svete)
Quotes from the Court:
Head Coach Amanda Butler
“A lot of things that I am really proud of the way our team played. You look at the stat sheet, I think that tells you a lot of things that jump out at you- a balance in the scoring, Kayla’s (Lewis) double-double, the way we took care of the basketball, the way we neutralized the rebounding in the second half and also the way we got ourselves to the free throw line in the second half. All things that contributed to beating a team that I think is very good, talented and capable of winning a lot of ball games in this league. This was a big win for us. No question. I loved it most of all because it was truly one of those team wins. Before you even look at the film, things jump out. The way Lily (Svete) shot it, the big plays JT (Jaterra Bonds) made, the big rebounds Kayal had and the way January (Miller) played in the second half. Everybody made plays and gave energy, and there was great chemistry out there. Just a lot to feel good about right now going into a day off and then two really important days of preparation for someone that might be the hottest team in the SEC right now.”
On the key to the 22-3 run that broke the game open in the second half…
“I think that one of the things, and I’m trying to remember who was on the floor, the thing that was so unique about our team is that the five that were out there just kind of made it happen. It wasn’t like we have to have Jaterra (Bonds) and this person. It was just those five just ran with it. There was a lot of energy. If I remember it correctly, Jan (January Miller) really sparked the run. She went right in and attacked the basket right off the bat and got a foul called. That was really important. I’m just proud that those parts are interchangeable and they all have so much trust in one another. To pass the ball the way that we did, to only to have 12 turnovers is one things but to have more assists and baskets than turnovers is a great indication that teams are playing well together.”
On staying in the SEC race…
“It is thick. There is no question. It is really thick in the league right now. I think that is exciting. I’ve said it 100 times, and I’ll say it 100 more, I think it is a great indication of how good this league is from top to bottom. I think it gets lost some time. People look at a game like Alabama beating Georgia and go, ‘O wow. What an upset.’ The rest of us go, ‘ya, Alabama is good.’ A really solid league from top to bottom. The best league in the country and that is why the best teams in the country want to play in this league and really test yourself every night. I think what added to tonight was, besides the team win, was that we had such an amazing crowd. We had such great fans. It capped off a really great weekend of Gator athletics and people coming out and showing support for the student-athletes and why it is so special to be a Gator.”
On the Gators being undefeated when Ronni Williams does not foul out…
“I try to be creative in my answers, but that is an awesome trend for you to pick out. It is always the goal to keep her on the floor as long as we possibly can. She got two in the first half. It is trying to manage her minutes between learning how to play with fouls and when she just needs to come sit for a minute so that we don’t put her in harm’s way in terms of fouling. That is part of the balance that the coaches are still trying to learn. I think Ronni, with each one of these games and the different types of challenges that these games present, she is just learning how to navigate the league.”
UF senior Jaterra Bonds
On ending the three-game losing streak…
“It feels really good, especially when you get an 18-point win against a team who has been hot lately. It feels good to get back in the groove and get back in the win column.”
On the key to the 22-3 run that broke the game open in the second half…
“The key to the game was sticking to our game plan. That was attacking the gaps and attacking and attacking. We knew that they were going to be big up front. We just wanted to get it out of our hands quick and flash it to the middle and attack from the corners. We wanted to get into the seams and make them make a play defensively.”
On carrying the win…
“I feel like every game in the SEC is important, no matter the opponent. Look at Alabama, they just beat Georgia by three. You never know what is going to happen any given night. That is why we come to each game ready to fight. We’ve got to get back on the court on Tuesday and start preparing for Alabama.”
UF senior Lily Svete
On coming off the bench…
“To me, it is easy to come out more relaxed when I start off the bench. The intensity, we’ve got to win the first four minutes, and as a shooter, I shoot better when I am more relaxed and I let things come to me. My teammates just did a great job of finding me. I ran the offense and ran into the open spot, and they passed me the ball.”
On three point shots…
“I was just open. Our offense is designed to get everyone the shots that they are supposed to get. I just ended up being open a few times and my teammates found me.”
Auburn Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy
On Florida’s performance in the second half
“We knew that their guards would put the ball on the floor and Bonds, along with the rest of them, absolutely killed us on the floor; theirs wasn’t from the post, it was from penetration.”
On the offensive struggles
“I think we shot the ball and rushed it up. We should have gotten the ball inside a lot more than we did. It was a bad offensive moment.”
On what to tell the team
“It’s really hard, you turn the ball over 22 times, and we let them penetrate straight through. I really don’t know what to think besides that we played one of our worst games ever; this whole year.”
Numbers of Note
· Today’s attendance of 3,114 was the second largest of the season.
· Florida’s seven three-pointers were its most since December 17th vs. St. Francis when the Gators sank 10.
· For the 13th game this season, every Gator who suited up for the game scored at least one point.
· Six of the eight Gator players who saw action today scored at least 10 points.
· Antoinette Bannister had a shot from downtown in the first half, making it the first trey the sophomore has drained since the Gators’ game against Kennesaw State on November 17th.
· The three free throws the Gators attempted in the first half were the second-fewest attempted in a half this year.
· Gators are now 11-1 when leading at the half. Only loss came against Georgia on January 19th, when the Gators led 30-24.
· Svete’s three 3-pointers moveed the senior to eighth overall in Gator history with 112 three-pointers made.
· Kayla Lewis nabbed her fourth double-double (13 points, 13 rebounds) of the year and the seventh of her career.
· Today’s win snapped Florida’s three-game losing streak.
· The game saw seven ties and five lead changes, all in the first half.
· Jaterra Bonds’ two free throws with 7:30 to go in the first half made her the 13th Gator to score 1,400 career points.
· Bonds sank her 368th free-throw attempt, moving her up the list for the second-most free throws made in school history, passing Gator All-American and U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist DeLisha Milton-Jones.
· Bonds and Lily Svete played in their 124th game; 11th most games played in UF history.
· Kayla Lewis hit just her third 3-pointer of the year and 19th of her career.
· Lily’s Svete’s three-pointer with 9:03 left in the first half marked the senior’s 425th career point. She finished the game with 12 points
· Bonds ended the game with 1,416 career points giving her sole position of No.13 on UF’s all-time chart.
· Lily Svete scored 12 points and notched her fifth double-figure scoring game this year and the 12th of her career.
· Jaterra Bonds recorded 18 points, making it her ninth consecutive game with double-figures this year, and the 17th overall. Bonds has now scored in double-figures 73 times in her career.
· Kayla Lewis tallied 13 points and scored in double-digits for the eighth time this year and 24th of her career.
· Freshman Ronni Williams put up 10 points for the ninth double-figure game of her career.
· Before missing a free throw, Cassie Peoples had made her last 15 shots from the charity stripe.
· Carlie Needles extended her made free throw streak to nine.
· Jaterra Bonds scored in a game for the 45th consecutive time - the longest active streak on the team.
· Florida hit a three-pointer for the 118th consecutive game.
New Starting 5
· Gators used a new starting five of Ronni Williams, Carlie Needles, Kayla Lewis, Jaterra Bonds and Cassie Peoples, making it the seventh different lineup Florida has had this year.
· Bonds started her 90th consecutive game and the 103rd of her career.
· Lewis started the 48th game of her career, including every game this season.
· Needles made her seventh start this season, first since November 29 vs. Illinois State in the Bahamas. It marked the redshirt-sophomore’s 22nd career start.
· Williams started for the second consecutive time; fifth time in her career.
Scores of other SEC games played Sunday:
KENTUCKY d. Arkansas, 68-58
South Carolina d. VANDERBILT, 61-57
LSU d. OLE MISS, 66-56
MISSISSIPPI STATE d. Missouri, 69-62
ALABAMA d. Georgia, 69-66
Tennessee d. TEXAS A&M, 76-55
Next Gator Game:
Alabama (10-10, 3-4 SEC) at Florida (14-6, 4-3 SEC)
Stephen C. O’Connell Center (11,373) * Gainesville, Fla.
Thu., January 30 * 7 p.m. ET
Game Coverage & More!
· Radio: LIVE on ESPN850 WRUF-AM in Gainesville with Adam Schick & Brittany Davis
· Internet Audio: LIVE thru www.Gatorzone.com (FREE)
· Television: FS Florida (Cox Ch. 70/1070; DirecTV 654) in North Florida Territory with Larry Vettel and Mark Wise
· Internet Video: LIVE on GatorVision Online (subscription)
· Internet Scoring: LIVE thru GatorZone.com (FREE)
· Tickets: $5 for reserved seats; $4 adult general admission; $2 for youth age 17 and under; FREE for UF and Santa Fe students
· Parking: FREE in the O’Connell Center lot
Additional Hoopla for the Game: Presenting sponsor: Domino’s
· Rowdy Reptile Check-In: Students can earn 4 points for scanning in at Gate 1.
· Campus Challenge: Final 4: Today’s Final Four matchup is between the winner of Muphree vs. Tolbert and Keys (1/9/14) and the winner of Broward vs. Rawlings and Reid-Yulee-Mallory (1/19/14). Students will be entered to win iPads and the residence hall(s) with the highest attendance will advance to the Championship.
· Dance Marathon Check-In: All 16 dance marathon organizations are invited to attend the game and receive 20 spirit points per person toward their organization. The organization with the highest attendance receives $250. The organization with the highest percentage will also receive $250. Check-in at Gate 2.
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