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Jennifer George tied her career-high of 21 points in the win.

Monday November 14, 2011Jennifer George's 21 Points Help Women's Hoops Past Stetson, 71-57

Gainesville, Fla.

Jennifer George tied her career-high of 21 points in the win.

The University of Florida women’s basketball team used a strong defensive effort, holding Stetson to 28.3 percent (17-60) shooting from the field and forcing 17 turnovers, to pick up its first win of the 2011-12 campaign, 71-57, on Monday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Gators were led by junior Jennifer George (Orlando, Fla.), who tied a career-high with 21 points, on 9-of-16 shooting, and added nine rebounds.

 

“I was really proud with the way that we played down the stretch,” UF head coach Amanda Butler said. “I think that a lot of credit goes to our strength coach when you see the way we closed out the ball game in the last three minutes. I haven’t looked at that segment statistically, but there is no question that our team had the energy to create our own momentum and make big plays. A lot of that was instigated by our defense and really just locking up and trying to take away some of the things that they had been successful with earlier in the ball game.”

In addition to the 21 points from George, eight additional Gators scored, paced by Deana Allen (Houma, La.) and Jordan Jones (Suwanee, Ga.), who added 11 and nine points respectively to help balance out the UF offensive attack. For the game, the Orange and Blue shot 46.7 percent (28-60) and outscored Stetson by 26 points in the paint (46-20) to help secure its 13th consecutive victory over the Hatters (1-1). 

 

The Hatters got out to quick start to begin the game, jumping out to an early 12-7 advantage before the Gators responded rallying off the next nine points behind a balanced effort which saw five different UF players contribute in the run. After the teams exchanged baskets for the next few minutes, Stetson closed the half on a 12-5 run to take a 30-29 lead into the half. George and Jones led the Gator charge in the first half with seven points apiece, while Allen added five and corralled seven boards. There were 10 lead changes and four tied scores during the first 20 minutes of action.

 

The Gators (1-1) set the tone for the rest of the game early in the second half, when they opened the frame with an 8-0 run, using three made jumpers and lockdown defense to force the Hatters into a timeout less than two minutes into the half. From there, UF kept up the pressure not allowing Stetson to get within four points the rest of the way as it cruised to the double-digit victory.

 

In the second half, the Gators outscored Stetson 42-27 behind an impressive 58.1 percent (18-31) shooting output and 14 points and five rebounds from George.

 

The Gators return to action on Thursday, Nov. 17, when they play host to in-state rival and 21st-ranked Florida State. The game, which is part of a double-header with the UF men’s team, is schedule for a 5:30 tip at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The first 1,000 students will receive a voucher for a BEAT FSU frat tank which will be distributed at halftime.

 

Tonight’s Notables

·         After being held scoreless in the first game of the season, Jennifer George scored a career-high tying 21 points

·         In her two games vs. Stetson, George has scored 42 points in 42 minutes of action

·         Deana Allen had seven rebounds in the first half, more than any Gator had in the Michigan loss

·         UF had 14 assists to just five for Stetson

·         The Gators outscored the Hatters in the paint by 26 points (46-20)

·         Florida won its 13th consecutive game against Stetson, improving to 23-3 all-time in the series

 

 

 

Tonight’s Quotes

 

Florida Head Coach Amanda Butler
Opening Statement:
“I was really proud with the way that we played down the stretch. I think that a lot of credit goes to our strength coach when you see the way we closed out the ball game in the last three minutes. I haven’t looked at that segment statistically, but there is no question that our team had the energy to create our own momentum and make big plays. A lot of that was instigated by our defense and really just locking up and trying to take away some of the things that they had been successful with earlier in the ball game. There are still a lot of things that we have to improve on. We’re a better rebounding team than what we showed. I think that we have to do a better job defending dribble penetration. Coming off of the loss and some of the things that we really emphasized – needing to get the ball in the paint more, needing to be smarter with our shot selection. We were really trying to set a tone on our defense each and every possession. I thought we saw a lot of carryover from the things that we worked on in the past two days. I was definitely proud of the team for that.”

On Jennifer George:
“Tonight was a two-fold challenge for Jennifer. She knew we had prepped to get the ball inside for her. Azania (Stewart) was a little slow from a situation against Michigan, so we were trying to limit her minutes, so that put a little more of a burden on Jennifer. We’re relying on her to be that presence that is a little more consistent. “

On Kayla Lewis:
“Kayla is an energy player. One of the great things about this team is that there are so many great combinations that we can put on the floor. When post players run the floor and get out ahead of the transition defense, it’s really hard to guard if they’re doing it with every possession. “

UF Junior Jennifer George
On her performance:
“I worked on posting up more and wanting the ball, just trying to own the paint like we didn’t do in our first game against Michigan.”

UF Senior Deana Allen
On making her season debut:
“I was hyped all over again. Even though I was out Friday for our first game as a team, it was good to be out there contributing with the rest of my teammates. I was excited to be back in and do what I can to help the team win.”

UF Senior Lanita Bartley
On her performance:
“Coach told me that I needed to pick up my tempo and push the ball more.”

 

 

Stetson Head Coach Lynn Bria
On their game plan for the Gators:
“I really thought our game plan was good. I thought we played hard. I thought we battled. They're bigger, but we're used to that and overall I think we executed the game plan. We missed a few easy baskets there, I thought we missed some easy baskets which really hurt us and against them when we get those we have to put them in.”

On playing the game in the paint:
“Simone (Taylor) played awesome and Sasha Sims played great I thought. We tried to pull their bigs out a little bit and I thought that was effective for us, but really we just missed some easy baskets in the paint. Florida did what they had to do, they got on the glass harder in the second half and you could just tell they were told to go inside and told to really get in the paint, but I still think we had some opportunities there that we could have had and the game just got away from us there a little bit because we missed some easy shots.”

 

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