Monday November 19, 2012Carlie Needles Sets UF Three-Point Record with Nine Treys in Win vs. North Florida, 74-44
Carlie Needles set the program-record with nine three-pointers in the win.
Redshirt-freshman Carlie Needles (Highlands Ranch, Col.) scored a career-high 27 points all coming off a program-record nine three-pointers and Florida earned an impressive 74-44 win against North Florida at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Monday night.
With 1:24 to play in the contest, Needles hit her ninth and final shot from long distance and finished 9-of-17 on the night, making her just the fifth player in Southeastern Conference women’s basketball history to make nine three-point baskets in a single game and tying her for the second-most threes in a game by an SEC women’s basketball player.
Needles broke a 20-year Florida Gator record held by Bridget Pettis, who drained eight three-pointers versus Georgia on Jan. 20, 1993.
“It’s pretty cool. It’s not about the individual record; it’s about what we do as a team” said Needles about breaking the program record. “My teammates really looked for me and so without them, I wouldn’t have shot the ball well. I noticed they had a couple good screens, and they really found me well. It wasn’t just me.”
“Carlie had a pretty good night, but I thought the thing that was fantastic about that was not that she shot the ball - we all know she’s capable of that – but that her teammates screened for her, found her and she did a great job of finding her shots,” UF head coach Amanda Butler said. “Every shot she took was a good shot. There was nothing that was lucky or freakish about it.”
Needles outscored North Florida (0-4) by herself through the first 20 minutes and had seven three-point field goals in the first half, which were as many field goals as the entire North Florida team combined through that stage of the game.
Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) and Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) joined in on the three-point shooting spree for the Gators as well as they each added a long range jumper of their own and help Florida sink 11 from long range, the most three-pointers since hitting 11 at Ole Miss on Jan. 31, 2010.
The game started with a slow pace on both sides with the Gators and Ospreys committing a combined seven turnovers in the first 4:08. The teams reached the first media timeout at the 15:52 mark with North Florida leading 5-2 and the Gators’ first points of the game coming on a Kayla Lewis (Decatur, Ga.) layup from Bonds.
The Gators the came out of a media timeout and exploded on a 19-0 run that turned the three-point deficit into a 21-5 lead with 8:30 remaining in the first half. Octavia Langston stopped the spree with a jumper, but Jennifer George (Fresno, Calif.) hit one free throw and started a 9-0 march that featured scoring by freshman Sydney Moss (Union, Ky.) and two more threes from Needles that ended with the Gators holding a 30-7 advantage with 6:47 to play in the first half and Florida never looked back.
Butler and the rest of the Gator coaching staff couldn’t help but smile from the bench at what Needles was doing from downtown in the first-half after she drained her seventh three-pointer of the night with 3:04 still remaining in the first half to put the Gators ahead, 45-18.
The half came to a close with the Gators leading 50-18 and Florida finishing 9-of-18 from three-point land and Needles shooting 7-of-9. Florida shot 59.4 percent (19-32) in the opening 20 minutes, with assists coming on 15 of the 19 field goals. North Florida hit just 29.2 percent (7-24) and committed 12 turnovers that Florida converted into 18 points.
Moss, Bonds, Lewis and freshman Christin Mercer (Douglasville, Ga.) each finished with eight points, while George and Lewis shared top rebounding honors with seven apiece, as the Gators held a 48-30 rebounding edge, with 17 boards coming on the offensive end.
Moss flirted with a triple-double again, also charting a game-high seven assists, while Mercer recorded collected six rebounds, three steals while hitting all three of her shot attempts.
The 50 first-half points for Florida were the most since scoring 53 in the first half of the Dec. 20, 2010 Gator Holiday Classic matchup versus Alabama State.
Needles also made contributions on the defensive end of the floor as she stepped up to take a charge with 15:19 remaining in the game and the Gators on top, 56-25.
With 13:00 left in the second-half January Miller (Orlando, Fla.) was the last Gator to make the score sheet as sank a free-throw making tonight the third time this season that every Gator who dress scored.
With the game well in hand after a fast break jumper from Bonds with 8:24 to play in the game and Florida leading 64-33, the Gators cooled off in the second-half.
Bonds kept the offense moving for the Gators to prevent any double-digit runs by the Ospreys as she hit a layup and a free throw for the old-fashioned three-point play with 5:48 left in the game.
Needles proved that her shooting hand remained hot through halftime and the majority of the second-half as she sank her eighth three-point basket of the game to give herself 24 points on the night with just 4:41 remaining in the game to put the Gators up 70-38.
With 1:24 to play in the contest, Needles hit her ninth and final shot from long distance to finish 9-of-11 on the night, making her just the fifth person in SEC women’s basketball history to make nine three-point baskets in a single game and ties her for the second-most threes in a game by an SEC women’s basketball player.
The largest lead of the night for the Gators was 34, which had Florida up 54-20 with 19:07 remaining in the game and came the same way that the first bucket of the game did for the Gators, a Lewis layup from Bonds.
Florida heads westward for the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout in Las Vegas where the Gators will play three games in three days beginning with N.C. State on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The radio broadcast can be heard live in Gainesville on WBXY The Star 99.5 FM and through the internet at www.gatorzone.com, the official website of the Florida Gators.
Game Notes vs. North Florida:
· Today's game marked the third game in the all-time series between Florida and North Florida. UF now leads the series 3-0.
· The Gators have won nine consecutive home games, including 10 straight against non-conference opponents.
· Trailing 5-2 in the opening minutes, Florida went on a 19-0 run to take a 21-5 lead with 8:10 in the first half. That marked the Gators' longest run of the season.
· Redshirt freshman Carlie Needles recorded nine three-point field goals, breaking the program record of eight set by Bridget Pettis against Georgia on Jan. 20, 1993. Her nine three-pointers made in a game tied for second in SEC history. It was the fifth time an SEC player has ever converted at least nine treys.
· Needles tallied a career-high 27 points against the Ospreys; her 21 first-half points outscored UNF, 21-18
· The Gators erupted for 50 points in the first half, which is the most they have scored since 53 vs. Alabama State on Dec. 20, 2010
· Florida led the Ospreys by 34 points on three occasions, its largest lead during a game this season.
· Every player who dressed for Florida scored against North Florida. It marked the third time this happened this season. The Gators have won all three games when they have done so.
· Florida tallied 74 points and improved their record to 2-0 this season and 42-12 under head coach Amanda Butler when scoring over 70 points.
Florida Head Coach Amanda Butler
“I was really proud of the way we rebounded, not just in how we played today but how we practiced all weekend. We really were challenging the team, especially on Saturday, which it’s tough emotionally to bounce back from a disappointing situation, but we also knew that that game is not indicative of who we are and who we are going to be. Tonight’s game is much more of the way we see ourselves and our style. As impressive as Carlie’s stats are tonight, the thing that I’m most proud of is that we hekd a quality opponent to the 40s. That’s hard to do and also getting the rebounding back because that’s two things we were really focused on and talked about a lot.”
On the performance of Carlie Needles:
“Carlie had a pretty good night, but I thought the thing that was fantastic about that was not that she shot the ball - we all know she’s capable of that – but that her teammates screened for her, found her and she did a great job of finding her shots. Every shot she took was a good shot. There was nothing that was lucky or freakish about it.”
On the 19-0 run after a slow start:
“I think it was defense, though, that turned the tides. We really just dug our heels in and decided we were not going to play even or close, we were going to try to make a difference on every play and there was so much greater sense of urgency. We play defense that way and offense leads to so much easier points and higher percentage shots.”
On playing small with all guards and still being able to be productive:
“I think one of the great strengths of this team is not only our balance, but our versatility. I think a lot of that starts with our defense but then that tempo and that transition. I think that it’s that great balance. When you play team defense the way you want to and pressure the ball and have great teamwork behind that pressure, I think that’s when you start to see easy points and runouts.”
UF Redshirt-Freshman Carlie Needles
On setting a program record:
“It’s pretty cool. It’s not about the individual record; it’s about what we do as a team. Like coach said, my teammates really looked for me and so without them, I wouldn’t have shot the ball well. I noticed they had a couple good screens, and they really found me well. It wasn’t just me.”
North Florida Head Coach Mary Tappmeyer
“I just thought we didn’t do a very good job of locating Carlie Needles. She really hurt us. She outscored us in the first half when she got hot. We just didn’t do a very good job of finding her. I thought the second half; we really battled and did our game plan, but in the first half Needles got free on us and that just blew it wide open.”
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