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Jordan Jones scored a team-high 20 points in the win.

Tuesday December 20, 2011WBB Advances to Gator Holiday Classic Final with 83-59 Victory over Charleston Southern

Gainesville, Fla.

Jordan Jones scored a team-high 20 points in the win.

The University of Florida women’s basketball team used a balanced offensive attack, which saw three players score in double figures, and stifling defense to down Charleston Southern, 83-59, Tuesday evening on the opening day of the 2011 Gator Holiday Classic.

 

Florida will play Duquesne in the championship game on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the O’Connell Center. The Dukes (10-1) defeated Maine, 76-38, in their opening round bout.  The Bears and Buccaneers will play the consolation game beginning at 4:30 p.m.

 

 “I’m really pleased with this win, in particular, the second half, as well as the first part of the second half,” Gator head coach Amanda Butler said. “We had some defensive lapses and some moments when we didn’t lock up and play the type of defense we’ve been practicing. I also thought that we did a good job of coming back and making adjustments and applying those adjustments and regaining control of the tempo. I thought that was a factor for us.”

 

Florida (8-3) led wire-to-wire, but it wasn’t as easy early in the contest as the final 24-point margin might indicate. The Gators held a 42-34 halftime lead against the Buccaneers (6-4), who came out strong in the second period, cutting UF’s lead in half just over four minutes into the frame.

 

After CSU closed within four points, 50-46, with 15:42 remaining, the Gators kept their composure and ripped off 16 straight points over the next 8:47of the game and built their lead to 66-46 with 7:09 left on the clock.

 

The game-changing run was keyed by lockdown defense and ignited by a pair of layups from senior guard Deana Allen (Houma, La.) and a trio of jumpers from redshirt-senior forward Ndidi Madu (Antioch, Tenn.).

 

The Gator defense starred in the second half, when UF limited the Buccaneers to 36.5 percent shooting for the final 20 minutes, including a stretch of 9:46 where CSU was held without a field goal and the visitors committed 10 turnovers.

 

For the contest, UF was led by a trio of players who scored in double figures, as senior guard Jordan Jones (Suwanee, Ga.) scored 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting and added three assists along with three steals. Junior forward Jennifer George (Orlando, Fla.) scored all 19 of her points in the first half on 9-of-9 shooting, before collecting six more rebounds in the second to post her third consecutive double-double with 10 boards to headline Florida’s 43-33 rebounding advantage.

 

Sophomore guard Brittany Shine (Sacramento, Calif.) scored a season-high 14 points to lead Florida’s bench brigade.

 

“Obviously (Jennifer) George got us out of the gates quickly,” Butler said. “One of the most impressive stats looking at the stat sheet was our bench out-scoring their bench, 30-4. We expect to go deep into our bench and get production. It was a good win against a good team.”

 

The Gators jumped out to an early 17-6 advantage less than seven minutes into the game behind a quick 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting from George. Florida was able to push its lead to 12 as Jones poured in a trio of threes. The Buccaneers fought back and were able to cut the UF lead to eight entering the halftime break. In the first half, George was a perfect nine-for-nine from the field and one-of-one from the line for 19 points. Jones added 14 of her own in the first to give the Gators a 42-34 advantage heading into the locker room.

 

Florida dished a season-high 22 assists on its 31 field goals, paced by sophomore Jaterra Bond (Gainesville, Fla.), who provided a career-best nine.

 

Tonight’s Notables

·         Florida has advanced to the championship game of its own Gator Holiday Classic every year, winning 16 of the previous 20 titles

·         Azania Stewart’s first of five blocked shots during the game was the 160th of her career, moving her into sole possession of fourth place all-time at UF, passing Keturah Bell’s 160 swatted from 1982-86

·         Jordan Jones has hit a three-pointer in seven consecutive games and in 10 of 11 overall

·         Jones hit four three-pointers, the third time this year with three or more treys in a game

·         Jennifer George had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, the fifth of the season and eighth of her career

·         George made her first nine shots of the game and finished 9-of-10 on the evening

·         George has now scored in double figures in three-consecutive games and in a team-best eight games on the season

·         Jaterra Bonds had a career-high nine assists

·         Brittany Shine scored a season-high 14 points

·         UF outrebounded CSU, 43-33, the eighth consecutive game it has outrebounded an opponent

 

Tonight’s Quotes

Florida Head Coach Amanda Butler

Opening Statement…

 “I’m really pleased with this win, in particular, the second half. We had some down moments in the first half but we did a good job of regaining the tempo in the second half. Obviously (Jennifer) George got us out of the gates quickly. Our bench out scoring their bench is something we always aim to do. We expect to go deep into our bench. It was a good win against a good team.”

 

On having turnovers in the post…

“I’m not ok with our turnovers. We want to play fast and push tempo and I’m ok with those turnovers but our turnovers didn’t fall into that category. We have to a much better job on that tomorrow.”

 

On the assist to turnover ratio…

 “Jaterra (Bonds) led that charge tonight and did a good job distributing because her shot wasn’t falling tonight. That’s a good sign. We had a good week of practice and our guards played well but a big part of that is having a post player going nine for nine in the first half.”

 

Charleston Southern Head Coach Julie Goodenough

On the game…

“We knew going into the game that Florida was going to be our toughest opponent on our schedule and the best team that we play all year. We knew their post players were probably going to cause us some trouble. I felt like our girls did a really good job trying to follow our defensive game plan. No. 32 (Jennifer George) was just unstoppable. I mean, we don’t have anything to matchup with her. She did an excellent job.”

 

On playing Maine tomorrow…

“We are excited to get back onto the court tomorrow and prepare for Maine. We are looking forward to that game. We made this trip hoping to do our very best and we are to the stage now where we just want to get a win at the tournament that will help us enjoy our Christmas break a little bit better.”

 

 

Gator Holiday Classic Game One Recap:

Duquesne downs Maine in game one of Holiday Classic, 76-38

 

The Duquesne University Dukes fought their way to their seventh victory in a row with a 76-38 victory over the University of Maine Black Bears at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla. Tuesday during the first game of the Gator Holiday Classic. The Dukes improved their record to 10-1 while the Black Bears fell to 3-8 on the season.

 

DU had four notch double-figures as Alex Gensler, Wumi Agunbiade, Orsi Szecsi and Carly Vendemia scored 15, 12, 10 and 10, respectively. The Black Bears were led by Courtney Anderson with six points, three rebounds and three assists. 

 

Duquesne will face Florida tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET, while Maine will meet up with Charleston Southern at 4:30 p.m.

 

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