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Jennifer George just missed her first double-double of the year.

Saturday December 1, 2012Women's Basketball Falls at Michigan, 59-52

Ann Arbor, MI

Jennifer George just missed her first double-double of the year.

Senior Jennifer George scored 15 points with nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough for Florida to overcome a woeful second-half shooting effort in a 59-53 loss at Michigan at the Crisler Center Saturday afternoon.

 

The Gators (5-3), who dropped their second consecutive game, connected on just 21.6 percent (8-of-37) from the floor during the final 20 minutes and a season-low 30.3 percent (20-66) overall.

 

It seemed the majority of U-M’s shot attempts came with 10 or fewer seconds on the shot clock.

 

“That’s typically how they play,” UF head coach Amanda Butler shared about Michigan’s offensive attack. “They like a low possession ball game and we didn’t do a good job defensively of maintaining our focus. I felt like we would put a lot of pressure on them and then we would have a breakdown with 10 seconds left. It’s got to be the other way around. Those last 10 seconds, your defense needs to get tighter and sharper.”

 

After Lily Svete nailed a three-pointer in the opening seconds of the second half, Michigan (6-2) ripped off 10 consecutive points and sparked a 22-7 run that reversed a 35-27 Gator lead into a 49-42 Wolverine advantage over a 10-minute span.

 

The Gators finally scored on consecutive possessions when Carlie Needles dropped in a layup off a Christin Mercer steal and Jennifer George put in an offensive rebound and cut Florida’s deficit to three points, 49-46, with 7:54 remaining. U-M came right back with the next four points of the game and increased its lead back to seven, 53-48, with 2:31 remaining in the game.

 

Svete buried a three-pointer from the left corner and had UF within four points with 2:18 on the clock, but the Wolverines made good on their trips free throw line, where they made 4-of-6 the rest of the way to close out the win.

 

U-M’s final eight points of the game came from the charity stripe and its last field goal came with 6:35 remaining. Florida wasn’t able to take advantage, as the Gators hit a woeful 21.6 percent (8-37) in the second half and just 30.3 percent (20-66) during the game.

 

George, who shot 7-of-13 from the floor, was joined in double-figure scoring by freshman Sydney Moss, who added 11 points and five rebounds, as eight of nine Gators who dressed for the game scored.

 

Kate Thompson led all scorers with 21 points for Michigan, which hit 42.9 percent (21-49) during the game, including 47.6 percent (10-21) in the deciding second half.

 

“Even though we held them in the 50s, I didn’t feel like we had great defensive energy,” Butler said. “That effort trickled over into our offense and we were a little too slow and a little too stagnant. We didn’t have as much fight as we needed to on the low block. We have a lot to look at on film from this one and correct before we play again.”

 

The first half was tight, with five lead changes and six tied scores.

 

Michigan held the early lead until the Gators went on a 6-0 spurt with two long jumpers from Sydney Moss and a pair of free throws from Vicky McIntyre. Rachel Sheffer halted the run with an inside bucket, but Jennifer George powered in a tough shot in the paint and Moss added a three-pointer that extended the Gator march to 11-2 and gave Florida a 20-13 lead with 7:27 remaining in the first half.

 

U-M answered with a 9-1 scoring run of its own behind a trio of three-pointers and regained a one-point advantage, 22-21, with 4:21 to go.

 

George hit one free throw then powered up another field goal between defenders, before Lewis canned a 14-footer that swung the lead back in Florida’s favor, 26-22, with 3:12 to play in the first frame.

 

Madison Ristovski scored her first points of the game for the Wolverines with an inside layup, but George answered with one for Florida. Moss then collected a steal and dribbled the length of the court for the acrobatic layin and the Gators held a 30-24 lead with 2:03 on the clock.

 

Brenae Harris knocked down a three-point as the shot clock was expiring for U-M, but Christin Mercer put back an offensive rebound with 14 seconds remaining and ended the first half scoring with Florida carrying a 32-27 lead into the locker room.

 

Six different Gators scoring during the opening 20 minutes, with George and Moss each recording nine points, while Lewis collected a team-best five rebounds for Florida, which held a 21-16 rebounding edge over the Wolverines, who were led in scoring by Kate Thompson’s 13 points.

 

The teams were almost identical statistically, with both committing eight turnovers and corralling five steals. Florida hit 12-of-29 shots (41.4 percent), while U-M connected on 11-of-28 (39.3 percent) from the floor.

 

Florida returns to action on Tue., December 4, when the Gators play host to Troy in the O’Connell Center beginning at 7 p.m. Florida’s appearance in the O’Connell Center is the team’s first since defeating North Florida on Nov. 19, in 15 days ago.

 

 

 

The home game is part of the program’s Season Pass/Gold Card/Backcourt Club Appreciation Day and all Season Pass holders, Gold Card members and Backcourt Club members will be able to pick up their season gift - a Loyalty Card membership to the Gator Locker Room that can be used in-store or at Lids.com.

 

 

 

For all of the latest information on Florida women’s basketball:

Official Website: www.gatorzone.com/basketball/women

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FloridaWomensBasketball

Twitter: @GatorZoneWBK  and  @CoachButlerUF 

 

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