Wednesday December 7, 2011Jennifer George Leads Balanced Team Win Against San Francisco, 91-68
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
Junior Jennifer George (Orlando, Fla.) scored a career-high 24 points and notched her third double-double of the year to lead a balanced offensive showing that featured all 10 Gators in uniform scoring in Florida’s 91-68 victory against San Francisco Wednesday night at War Memorial Gym.
Florida (7-2) earned its first true road win in its first attempt of the season, as the Gators bounced back from their tough loss to No. 11 Rutgers in their last game. The Dons (1-9) lost their eighth straight.
“It wasn’t a bad effort at all,” said UF coach Amanda Butler, who collected the 125th career coaching victory, as well as her 85th in five years with the Gators. “We could have played better defense in the second half. That probably the only area where there was a little dip in intensity. This was a great team win and everyone contributed. We were able to spread our minutes around and for most of the ballgame play Florida basketball.”
The Gators used a 17-0 run early in the first half to take a 13-point lead and added to that margin with a 9-2 spurt later in the period en route to a 46-28 halftime lead. Florida continued its intensity in the second half and slowly extended its lead with a 16-9 run to begin the final frame, as the Gator assumed a 25-point advantage and never looked back.
· WATCH the postgame interviews with Azania Stewart, Jennifer George, Brittany Shine and Andrea Vilaró Aragonés – FREE courtesy of GatorVision Online
In addition to her career-high scoring performance that came on 11-of-16 shooting, George collected 11 rebounds for her seventh career double-double and helped the Gators overwhelm the Dons on the boards, 56-30, while holding the hosts without an offensive rebound for the entire first half. USF finished with six in game, while Florida snared 25 of the offensive side, with George responsible for seven of those.
“The thing about Jennifer is that there’s not much that’s flashy with her game,” Butler said. “What I respect the most about her game is that she seems like she gets her head knocked off every time she scores and doesn’t even get half of the credit for all the contact she’s taking. That shows her toughness and it shows how much attention she’s drawing from defenses. I’m really proud of her and how she bounced back from out last game mentally.”
Senior Azania Stewart (Wood Green, England) also collected a season-high 11 rebounds while adding nine points and a pair of blocked shots. Seniors Lanita Bartley (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Deana Allen (Houma, La.) both scored 11 points, with Allen snaring seven rebounds.
A couple of Gators tallied a season-high scoring performances, with freshman Andrea Vilaró Aragonés (Barcelona, Spain) scoring seven points in 13 minutes and sophomore Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) accounting for five with her father in the stands.
Sacramento-native Brittany Shine also scored seven points, giving the few dozen hometown fans in attendance a lot to cheer about during the Gator win that saw them score a season-high 91 points.
Sophomore Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) recorded seven points with a team-high three assists and three steals, helping the Gators collect 11 thefts.
Rheina Ale led San Francisco with 19 points, while Kate Keating had 14 and Aundrea Gordon 12 for the Dons, who committed 18 turnovers that the Gator converted into 26 points.
Bartley began the game’s scoring with two layups before the teams exchanged buckets. San Francisco then went on a 10-2 spurt and took a 12-8 lead. The Gators had their chances during the early stretch, but made just 2-of-11 shots from the floor.
That’s when Florida went on a season-best 17-0 run over a 3:18 span and took a 25-12 lead. Six different Gators scored during the march, with Shine scoring four points, as did George, whose mother was in the stands. Bartley added a three-pointer, while Allen, Ndidi Madu and Jordan Jones each connected on a field goal.
Rheina Ale, who was honored during a pregame ceremony for scoring her 1,000th-career point, ended Florida’s run with an eight-footer from the left side that started a 7-2 run and closed the Gator lead to eight points, 27-19, with 7:32 to play.
The teams traded scores for the next two minutes, with Allen hitting a pull-up, 17-footer in a transition bucket with a feed from Bonds, and George connecting on the other basket inside.
After the Dons were back within single digits, George put down back-to-back buckets and brought the lead back to 13 points, as she started a 9-2 run and had the Gators up 40-24 with 2:44 on the clock. Bonds knocked down a three-pointer and Allen converted a pair of free throws to complete the spurt.
Both clubs exchanged buckets for the next two minutes, before Andrea Vilaró Aragonés canned a 17-footer and George followed with an inside jumper, taking a feed from Vilaró Aragonés with less than 30 seconds remaining in the half and Florida took a 46-28 lead entering the locker room.
“After practice the other day (Vilaró Aragonés and I) talked about her comfort level and how much it’s improving every day,” Butler praised the freshman. “She has a chance to be the best passer on our team. She has tremendous vision and tremendous timing and lot of passes that she can throw in her arsenal that other players don’t have. I was really proud of her tonight.”
The Gators greatly improved their stroke from the floor, connecting on 45.5 percent (20-44) after their slow start, while holding a 26-15 rebounding advantage, even preventing the Dons from collecting a single offensive board during the first 20 minutes.
George led all scorers with 14 points, as she converted 7-of-10 shots during the opening frame when eight different Gators ticked the score board.
The Gators continue their two-game trip in California, next traveling to Stockton to play The University of the Pacific (3-3) on Friday, Dec. 9, with tip-off from the Alex G. Spanos Center scheduled for 10 pm ET/7 pm PST. 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.