Saturday January 22, 2011Florida Aims for First Win Against LSU in Baton Rouge in 15 Years
Sunday is GAME DAY!
Sunday is GAME DAY!
Florida is in the midst of a difficult three-game losing streak, with the last two decisions coming after the Gators held a double-digit lead during the second half.
Florida dropped a heartbreaking 59-58 decision at home to No. 19 Kentucky on Thursday after erasing a 10-point first-half deficit and taking a 10-point lead with 5:29 remaining. Four days earlier in Athens, the Gators raced out to a big lead that swelled to 16 points as late as 14:17 against Georgia, but lost 70-64.
Florida now travels to play LSU on Sunday afternoon with the goal of snapping the skid. The team will need 40 minutes of effort and focus to earn a win at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, a place where the Gators haven’t won in 15 years.
· WATCH Head coach Amanda Butler’s Preview Interview of Sunday’s game – FREE courtesy of GatorVision OnLine (http://www.gatorvision.tv/mediaPortal/player.dbml?id=746317&db_oem_id=6500)
Florida is 1-6 when playing on an opponent’s home turf this season. The Gators had dropped their first five on the road before winning the 65-63 thriller at South Carolina on Jan. 9.
Twelve of Florida’s 20 games this season have been decided by 10 points or fewer, with eight being six-point-or-less differences.
Gator junior newcomer Deana Allen is a native of Houma, La., located just 65 miles from Baton Rouge.
Through six Southeastern Conference games, Allen is averaging team-bests of 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds, including her 14 point-13-rebound performance against Georgia on Jan. 16. She followed with a team-leading 13-point effort versus No. 19 Kentucky on Thursday.
Junior Jordan Jones has found her long-range shooting touch in six SEC games, hitting 41.7 percent (10-24) of her attempts.
Jones leads the very balanced Gator scoring effort, recording 9.9 points per game, hitting a team-leading 39 three-pointers and playing 32.3 minutes per outing.
Azania Stewart is Florida’s leading rebounder with 6.3 per game and is a close second with a 51.0 percent field goal mark (Stewart led the SEC in field goal percentage last year, 61.9%). Her 32 blocked shots is also tops for the Gators. Lanita Bartley is dishing 3.35 assists and 1.85 steals, while finding her way to the free throw a team-best 69 times.
Florida is averaging a respectable 65.2 points per game and no Gators are recording a double-figure scoring average. Ten different Gators contribute at least 5.0 points per game, with 10 of the 12 reptiles averaging at least 13 minutes of playing time per contest.
After dropping their first two SEC contests by close decisions, the Lady Tigers have won three of their last four games entering Sunday’s outing. LSU dominated the second half of Thursday’s game against Ole Miss, turning a seven-point halftime lead into a 78-43 route. The Lady Tigers hit 48.1 percent from the field, including a blistering 66.7 percent in the second half.
LSU traditionally features one of the nation’s stingiest defenses and the 2010-11 edition is no different. The squad leads the SEC and ranks 23rd in the country for scoring defense, limiting foes to just 53.8 points per game. LSU also ranks No. 16 nationally for turnovers per game (14.7 pg) and No. 24 for field goal percentage defense (34.9%).
Sophomore Adrienne Webb is one of the SEC’s top three-point shooters, ranking second for accuracy (40.3%) and third with 3.6 treys per game (20-52). She leads LSU with 13.6 points per game, followed closely by junior LaSondra Barrett, who contributes 12.6 points, shooting 40 percent overall and 39.4 percent (13-3) from long range. Barrett also has 46 assists and 21 steals to her credit. Junior Taylor Turnbow leads the rebounding effort with 6.4 per game, as LSU holds a +4.7 margin over their opponents.
LSU holds a commanding 23-9 all-time lead in the 32-game series versus Florida, including an 11-3 record in Baton Rouge. Last year’s game was one the Gators would like to forget, as the Lady Tigers thumped UF 70-30 in the third-most lopsided outcome between two programs.
The Lady Tigers have won the last four meetings and 10 of the last 11 against the Gators, as well as 13 of the previous 15 outings. Over the last 11 games, LSU has won those 10 games by an average of 22.6 points.
Florida’s most recent win in the series was the 79-78 stunner on Feb. 16, 2006, when the unranked Gators shocked the No. 2/3-ranked Lady Tigers, marking the highest-ranked opponent Florida has ever defeated.
Florida’s last win against LSU in Baton Rouge was back on Jan. 21, 1996, when the Gators won the 71-64 decision. Current UF assistant coach Murriel Page was a sophomore on that Gator squad, while current head coach Amanda Butler was in her first year as an assistant coach at UF.
FLASH BACK … to Jan. 21, 1996
Game 18: #22 Florida 71, LSU 64
January 21, 1996 - Baton Rouge, La.
Florida’s clutch free throw shooting in the game’s final minutes and a stingy defense keyed the Lady Gators first SEC road win of the season.
Murriel Page’s put-back with 2:18 remaining and a bucket from the top of the key with 1:44 on the clock gave Florida a five-point lead (63-58) and forced the Tigers to call a time-out. Talatha Bingham was immediately fouled and connected on a pair of one-and-one free throws with 1:05 remaining to put UF up by seven. However, LSU’s Pietra Gay nailed a three-pointer (finishing the game with 24 points) and the Tigers crept within four. Crystal Parker added a pair of free throws, followed by two from Bingham with 10 seconds remaining and secured the victory.
Both teams struggled in the first half, as UF shot 26.5-percent and LSU shot 34.8-percent and the Tigers led 25-23 at the half. The teams combined for 28 turnovers in the game’s opening 20 minutes, but took better care of the ball in the second frame. Foul trouble also became a concern for the Gators, as Page and Bingham played just a combined 12 minutes in the first period and totaled two points. But DeLisha Milton owned the first half, grabbing 11 first-half rebounds en route to a season-high 16, while adding 18 points. Page finished with 13 points and Bingham tallied 12.
The Gator defense took over in the game, holding the SEC’s third-leading scorer, Elaine Powell, to just seven total points (two in the second half) - 14 below her average; and forced 26 Tiger turnovers.
Game Day Information
Florida Gators (12-8, 2-4 SEC) at the LSU Lady Tigers (13-7, 3-3 SEC)
Sunday, January 23, 2011 - 3 pm ET/2 pm CT
Pete Maravich Center (13,472) - Baton Rouge, La.
Game Coverage & More!
Radio: LIVE on WBXY-FM 99.5 “The Star” in Gainesville, called by Adam Schick and Brittany Davis
Internet Audio: LIVE thru www.GatorZone.com (FREE)
Internet Video: None
Television: LIVE on Cox Sports Television (in Gainesville on Cox channel 259) with Lyn Rollins and Jordy Hultbert
TV Satellite Feed/ XOS Digital XChange: None