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Wednesday March 19, 2008Women's Basketball to Host WNIT Second Round Game on Monday at 7 p.m.

Gainesville, FL

The University of Florida women's basketball team received confirmation on Wednesday that it will play host to the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Monday, March 24 beginning at 7 p.m.

 

The game will feature Florida (18-13) against the winner of the first-round contest between Florida Gulf Coast (21-8) and South Florida (16-15) that will be played on Friday in Fort Myers.

 

Monday will be the first time the O'Connell Center has entertained a women's basketball postseason event since the 2000-01 season, when the Gators hosted the opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

 

The only other time Florida has hosted a WNIT game was on March 21, 2000, when the Gators defeated Maryland, 77-57, in the quarterfinals, en route to an appearance in the championship game, where they lost to Wisconsin, 75-74, in Madison.

 

"We are excited about continuing our season and having a chance to do so on our home court and in front of our home fans," UF head coach Amanda Butler said. "Bringing postseason basketball to the O'Connell Center is a credit to the way our team has performed all year at home, the commitment our administration has to the success of our women's basketball program and our supportive fans, who have helped make the O'Connell Center a special place to play."

 

All WNIT games are held on the campuses of participating schools.

 

Florida defeated Florida Gulf Coast, 78-52, on December 4 this season in Gainesville in the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The Gators sport a 34-4 all-time record against South Florida. The Bulls, however, won the last meeting, which was a 61-56 decision in the first round of the 2005 WNIT played in Tampa.

 

Florida will be making its fourth appearance in the WNIT, reaching the title game in 1985 and in 2000.

 

This is the 14th time in the last 16 years the Gators have earned a postseason berth, with 11 NCAA Tournament berths to their resume.

 

The remarkable job done by Butler and her staff in turning around a Gator squad that posted a 9-22 record last season has culminated in an 18-13 ledger entering the 2008 WNIT.

 

Butler, the eighth different full-time head coach in the 34-year history of the Florida womenís basketball program, is the first to guide the Gators to a postseason berth in their first year with the Gators.

 

 

Floridaís NWIT and WNIT Chronology

(6-3 Record in Tournament Games)

Year

Round

Opponent

Result

Location

1985

First

Montana

W, 70-49

Amarillo, Texas

 

Semifinal

Drake

W, 87-80

Amarillo, Texas

Final

LSU

L, 74-54

Amarillo, Texas

2000

First

Dayton

W, 97-93

Dayton, Ohio

 

 

Second

Memphis

W, 74-71

Memphis, Tenn.

Quarterfinal

Maryland

W, 77-57

GAINESVILLE, Fla.

Semifinal

Arkansas

W, 83-62

Fayetteville, Ark.

Final

Wisconsin

L, 75-74

Madison, Wis.

 

2005

First

USF

L, 61-56

Tampa, Fla.

 

 

END OF REPORT

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