Wednesday November 14, 2012Florida Meets Florida State in Women's Basketball Action Thursday at 7 p.m.
Coach Butler with the Gator freshmen
Coach Butler with the Gator freshmen
Florida takes its young bunch on their first road trip of the season, traveling 128 miles West to play instate rival Florida State on Thursday at the Donald L. Tucker Center where tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Live streaming video of the game will be available through www.espn3.com, while fans can listen to the radio call live in Gainesville on The Star 99.5 FM (WBXY) and free on the internet at www.Gatorzone.com.
Florida (2-0) holds a 41-27 lead in the 68-game series, the longest series in program history, however, Florida State has won six of the last nine games. The Gators won last year’s outing, 72-58, in Gainesville. Florida’s last three losses to the Seminoles have been by a combined nine points.
The Seminoles (1-0) dominated Samford in every facet of its season-opener on Sunday, earning a 77-42 home win, highlighted by the monster performance of senior Chasity Clayton, who tallied 20 points and 18 rebounds. Florida State enjoyed a 54-21 rebounding advantage and scored 48 points in the paint.
“They are a very experienced and talented team,” UF head coach Amanda Butler said of the Seminoles. “They are big, athletic and a very good rebounding team. Coach Sue’s teams are very well coached so we have to be prepared.
“It’s going to be unique for us this year in that it’s our first true road trip of the season and having it in such a hostile environment, a place that will be charged. Hopefully, we’ll be ready for that otherwise we’ll have to adjust quickly and really rely on our upperclassmen to steady the ship,” Butler continued.
A 2012 First Team All-Southeastern Conference performer, Jennifer George headlines a very young and inexperienced 2012-13 Florida team - ranked as the fifth-most inexperienced team in the country – that opened the season with impressive wins against Fairfield (71-49) and Georgia State (84-65).
George is the lone senior on a roster that features eight newcomers, including six freshmen. George, who led Florida in scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounding (8.8 rpg) last year and scored 19 points with eight rebounds in the win against GSU, is joined on the court by junior guard Jaterra Bonds, who was the only Gator who played and started all 33 games a year ago when Florida compiled its third 20-win season in five years under Butler. Bonds recorded 17 points with five rebounds and four assists against the Panthers.
The Gators graduated five players from last year’s team, including 2012 Olympian Azania Stewart, who used her 6-foot-4 frame to rank third all-time among the program’s shot blockers. While Florida will miss Stewart’s size inside, the Gators welcome 6-foot-7 transfer Vicky McIntyre to the paint to help George in the front court. McIntyre stepped up with four blocked shots in her Gator debut, while shooting 6-of-10 from the floor.
Florida also welcomes the nation’s 20th-ranked signing class to campus and all four true freshmen made an immediate impact in both games.
“What makes me more confident about this group is its ability to adjust because they’re talented and because they’re smart. No matter what we’re facing, they’ll be able to adjust,” Butler said.
“We’re still so focused on learning and we’re preparing for what we need to do at this point, that doing something different to bring attention of a rowdy band or opposing fans would be more of a distraction for the learning we need to do,” said Butler of trying to prepare her young team for its first road game.
Only three current players have suited up with the Gators for an away game in the last two years, with junior Lily Svete joining George and Bonds with recent experience playing in hostile arenas. Redshirt-sophomore Kayla Lewis, who record her first career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds against Georgia State, has not played a road game since Jan. 23, 2011 at LSU.
Florida (2-0) at Florida State (1-0)
Donald L. Tucker Center (12,100)
Thur., Nov. 15, 2012 * 7 p.m. ET
FLORIDA GAME NOTES (PDF)
Game Coverage & More!
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*This is Florida’s first road trip of the season
*Thursday’s meeting is the 69th between Florida & Florida State
*UF has played FSU more than any other team in program history
*Florida leads the all-time series vs. FSU, 41-27
*The Seminoles hold a 14-13 lead in Tallahassee vs. UF
*FSU has won 6 of the last 9 meetings in the series
*Florida was 4-10 in true road games last year
*every Gator who dressed for the first two games scored in both
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Twitter: @GatorZoneWBK and @CoachButlerUF