Tuesday November 29, 2011Florida Uses Balanced Attack and Tough Defense to Down Belmont, 72-45
Brittany Shine was one of three Gators who scored in double-figures.
The University of Florida women’s basketball team used a balanced offensive attack, which saw nine different players score, and a lockdown defensive performance to cruise to a 72-45 victory against Belmont Tuesday evening at the O’Connell Center.
“It was a great win for us, a great opportunity to try and spread our minutes around a little bit. It gave us an opportunity to work on things we don’t always get to do during games,” Gator head coach Amanda Butler said. “To have the type of balance and give everyone the opportunity at such quality minutes in a game situation is really valuable for our team going forward.”
Florida (6-1) took advantage of 29 Belmont (1-6) turnovers by turning them into 44 points. The Gators also used their size to their advantage as they outscored the Bruins 34-16 in the paint to help them to the 27 point victory.
For the contest, the Gators (6-1) were led offensively by a trio of players who topped the 10-point mark led by Jennifer George (Orlando, Fla.), who scored 15 points and shared team-high honors with six rebounds. Brittany Shine (Sacramento, Calif.) put up a season-high 13 points, while Lanita Bartley (Jacksonville, Fla.) tallied 12 points, three assists and three steals in 21 minutes of play.
Using a balanced attack and stifling defense, the Gators jumped out to an early 22-12 lead 10 minutes into the contest. UF then went on a surge, closing the half on a 24-7 run to take a 46-19 lead into the locker room and never looked back en route to its sixth consecutive win.
“We have such an advantage by having two people that can pressure the ball so effectively in Lanita Bartley and Jaterra Bonds,” Butler said. “We ask them to set the tone with their defense and ball pressure, and you saw that tonight. I thought they did a great job.”
For the first half, the Gators shot an impressive 54.3 percent (19-of-35) from the floor and saw eight players record a point, led by 12 from Bartley and 11 from George. The Florida defense was also impressive in the first as the Orange and Blue held Belmont to 33.3 percent (seven-of-21) shooting and forced 21 Bruin turnovers.
The Gators didn’t let up in the second half extending their lead to as many as 37 points en route to the 72-45 victory. UF’s second half was keyed by Shine, who scored all of her season-high 13 points after the intermission. The Orange and Blue also got a solid second half contribution from Andrea Vilaró Aragonés (Barcelona, Spain), who scored the first six points of her Gator career on a pair of threes.
Florida returns to action on Friday, Dec. 2, when they face No. 11/12 Rutgers (6-0) at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach. The game, which tips at 8 p.m., will be televised live statewide on Fox Sports Florida. The radio broadcast can be heard in Gainesville on WBXY-FM 99.5 “The Star” and through the internet at www.Gatorzone.com, the official website of the Florida Gators.
· Nine Gators scored in the game, tying a season-high
· Florida held Belmont to 45 points and 33 rebounds, both season-lows for an opponent
· UF forced Belmont into 21 first half turnovers and finished the game with 29 forced turnovers; its previous season-best was 20 (vs. Charlotte, 11/26/11)
· Brittany Shine scored a season-best 13 points
· freshman Andrea Vilaró Aragonés scored her first-career points in a Gator uniform, finishing with six points
· Azania Stewart blocked two shots and increased her career total to 149
· The Gators improve to 4-1 at home on the season
Florida Head Coach Amanda Butler
“It was a great win for us, a great opportunity to try and spread our minutes around a little bit. It gave us an opportunity to work on things we don’t always get to do during games. To have the type of balance and give everyone the opportunity at such quality minutes in a game situation is really valuable for our team going forward.”
On the press:
“We have such an advantage by having two people that can pressure the ball so effectively in Lanita Bartley and Jaterra Bonds. We ask them to set the tone with their defense and ball pressure, and you saw that tonight. I thought they did a great job.”
On the balance of minutes:
“I think it’s a little bit of both. We like to spread our minutes around as much as we can, because freshness is something that we try to achieve so that we can maintain defensive pressure. We want to try and keep someone with a little gas in their tank on their primary ball holder, so that there is never a moment when fatigue becomes a factor. It’s a chance for a lot of our players to grow.”
On the guards:
“I think it makes us hard to defend, plus the balance. Who you choose to focus on makes it really tough to game-plan for us. So much of this guard scoring tonight came as a result of the defense. That’s our favorite kind of offense. That is when you see our guards take more of a scoring role. We wanted to have an inside-out attack.”
On Lanita Bartley on the press:
“Lanita plays with great pride. She takes great pride in being disruptive and getting the ball back for her team. I think that’s what you saw.”
On taking shots from behind the arc:
“There were none of us of who doubted that our threes were going to fall, because we have a lot of confidence in our kids that are shooters. I give them a lot of credit for them not hitting the panic button when those shots were falling in the earlier games. They took confidence in knowing that the threes were going to fall. I’m proud of that.”
On the 18-2 run:
“I told the team to say let’s show this team how much we respect them by showing this team how hard we play from the get go. That run was really triggered by good defense and getting shots from both ways.”
On scouting Rutgers
“I know they’re very good, very athletic and very well coached. Every year they are defense minded. I have a feeling that we will see a lot of pressure full court. “
Belmont Head Coach Brittney Ezell
“Florida was overwhelming today. Honestly, their pressure was a little too much for our young guards to handle and you got to give Florida credit. At the same time, we didn't do a lot to help ourselves and this is a little above our pay grade to be real honest. The Atlantic Sun and SEC are different. Having been in the Atlantic Sun one year now I think our kids know what we need to do to win the league with it being an automatic-bid league and games like this are great experience and it was an honor to play on this floor and against a team like Florida. I'm really proud of the way our kids competed, they never hung their heads so you got to give them a lot of credit and good luck to Florida this year."