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Jaterra Bonds scored a team-high 15 points for the Gators.

Tuesday November 22, 2011Women's Hoops Dominates Inside to Down Hampton, 63-46

Gainesville, Fla.

Jaterra Bonds scored a team-high 15 points for the Gators.

Fueled by the impressive play of its inside game, the University of Florida women’s basketball team outrebounded Hampton by 14 and used a 43-point second half en route to a 63-46 victory Tuesday night at the O’Connell Center.

 

“I’m really proud in the way we played and in particular in the way we rebounded,” Gator head coach Amanda Butler said. “Hampton is a very good ball club. We knew as evidence by their performance in the first half that we were going to have our hands full. We knew we were going to have to play significantly better than we played them last year and we also knew that winning the battle in the paint was going to be really huge for us. I am really proud of the way our players played and I’m proud of the way that our team prepared. The thing that is sustaining us right now is the way we are playing defense.”

 

For the game, Florida (3-1) was led by junior forward Jennifer George (Orlando, Fla.) who poured in 13 points and grabbed a game-high and career-tying 14 boards, to notch the first double-double by a Gator this year and the fifth of her career.

 

Senior forward Ndidi Madu (Antioch, Tenn.) collected a career-high 11 rebounds, with eight on the offensive end, while adding six points. Senior center Azania Stewart (Wood Green, England) anchored the paint with eight points, five rebounds and her second consecutive game with four blocked shots, as she and George combined to hit 10-of-13 from the floor.

 

“I really felt like Ndidi (Madu) set the rebounding tone,” Butler praised. “When Ndidi went in the ball game it changed, you know there was an energy that changed. That’s one of the things that makes our team so dangerous is that we put the five on the floor, whether it be the starting five or the first person off the bench, we can put a lot of different combinations and Ndidi brought a lot of energy and did a great job of emphasizing in her play what we had prepared for and what we talked about.”

 

Florida also received significant contributions from sophomore guard Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.), who added 15 points by converting 9-of-10 free throws, and senior guard Lanita Bartley (Jacksonville, Fla.), who tallied seven points, seven rebounds and a game-high four assists.

 

Despite falling behind early and trailing for the majority of the first half, the Gators kept fighting and were able to rally from a 10-point deficit with 6:47 remaining in the opening frame to tie the score at 20 entering the locker room.

 

The Gators continued that momentum into the second half, coming out strong and scoring six of the first eight points, forcing the Lady Pirates (2-1) into an early timeout. The early run proved a sign of things to come, as Florida went on to outscore Hampton 43-26 in the second half.

 

The Gator offense seemed to wake up in the second half, shooting 43.8 percent (14-of-32) and converting on 14 free throws. As the offense picked up, the defense stayed strong again, holding Hampton to 30.8 percent (8-of-26) shooting and forcing 11 turnovers, which led to 12 Gator points.

 

In the first, the Gators used a balanced attack on offense with six players scoring paced by Bonds, who had seven points in 12 minutes of action. UF also used hardnosed defense to overcome the early deficit, which was as much as 10 points, holding Hampton to 27.6 percent (8-of-29) shooting in the first and forcing eight turnovers in the opening frame.

 

For the game, Florida shot 34.4 percent from the floor after a woeful start, and held Hampton to a 29.1 percent effort while forcing 19 Pirate turnovers that the Gators converted into 19 points. UF also won the rebounding battle 53-39 and charted 10 steals, the second time the team has reached a double-figure theft mark through four games this year.

 

Senior guard Deana Allen (Houma, La.) finished with a career-high four steals, while collecting seven rebounds.

 

Florida will return to action on Friday, Nov. 25, when the team takes its first road trip of the season, traveling to Brooklyn, NY, to play LaSalle in the Courtyard LaGuardia Turkey Classic hosted by Long Island University. The radio broadcast of the game can be heard live in Gainesville on WBXY-FM 99.5 “The Star” and through the internet at www.GatorZone.com, the official website of the Florida Gators.

 

Tonight’s Notables

·         Jennifer George tied her career-high of 14 rebounds

·         George had the Gators’ first double-double of the season, which was the fifth of her career

·         George scored in double figures for the third consecutive game, the first time in her career she has accomplished this feat

·         Deana Allen had a career-high four steals

·         Ndidi Madu tallied a career-bests in  rebounds (11) and offensive rebounds (8)

·         UF tallied a season-best 53 rebounds and 29 offensive rebounds

·         Azania Stewart blocked four shots in her second consecutive game

·         Freshman Andrea Vilaró Argonés saw her first action in a Gator uniform, checking in the game at the1:17 mark of the second half

 

Tonight’s Quotes

Florida Head Coach Amanda Butler

Opening Statement:

“I’m really proud in the way we played and in particular in the way we rebounded. Hampton is a very good ball club. We knew as evidence by their performance in the first half that we were going to have our hands full. We knew we were going to have to play significantly better than we played them last year and we also knew that winning the battle in the paint was going to be really huge for us. I am really proud of the way our players played and I’m proud of the way that our team prepared. The thing that is sustaining us right now is the way we are playing defense.”

 

On Ndidi Madu’s play:

“I really felt like Ndidi (Madu) set the rebounding tone.  When Ndidi went in the ball game it changed, you know there was an energy that changed. That’s one of the things that makes our team so dangerous is that we put the five on the floor, whether it be the starting five or the first person off the bench, we can put a lot of different combinations and Ndidi brought a lot of energy and did a great job of emphasizing in her play what we had prepared for and what we talked about.”

 

Hampton Head Coach David Six

"It was awful, the worst game we have played this year. Nobody boxed out and I didn't feel like anybody but (Jericka) Jenkins was ready to play. I don't know what the foul count was, but Florida was at the free-throw line quite a bit and rebounding certainly gave them an advantage."

 

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