Tuesday December 4, 2012Five Gators Score in Double Figures as Florida drops Troy, 87-62
Sydney Moss (left) and Carlie Needles both scored 18 points in the win.
Florida used big scoring nights from a pair of freshmen along with the combination of crisp outside shooting and a strong post presence to defeat Troy, 87-62, at the O’Connell Center on Tuesday night.
Rookies Carlie Needles (Highlands Ranch, Col.) and Sydney Moss (Union, Ky.) each scored 18 points in a myriad of ways to combine for 36 points with the pair reaching double-figures in the first half alone as they scored a combined 21 points in the game’s first 20 minutes and helped UF to a 44-36 lead at the break.
Preseason Naismith Player of the Year Candidate Jennifer George (Fresno, Calif.) posted her first double-double of the season and the 20th of her career, as she contributed 14 points and a season-high 12 rebounds, while junior transfer Vicky McIntyre (Omaha, Neb.) also recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, her first double-double as a Gator and the third one of her career.
Redshirt-junior Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) scored a career-high 14 points and led the Gators with four of the team’s seven three-point baskets, as Florida drilled 7-of-11 from long range, as well as 52.5 percent (31-59) overall from the floor en route to its highest scoring output of the season.
· WATCH some of the highlights from the win: http://youtu.be/SsiMT4Ld8jE
“I thought it was great balance,” UF head coach Amanda Butler said. “We’ve got a lot of people that can be threatening. I thought offensively we did a really good job of working well together, but everyone individually took their shots at the right time. I thought we had great teamwork and great shot selection. For the most part we knocked most of them down, but that was because they were good shots.”
After Troy opened the second half with a three-point bucket and cut UF’s lead to five, 44-39, the Gators responded with a quick 9-0 run that became an 18-4 spurt, as Florida got stronger during the opening minutes of the second half and held a 64-43 lead with 10:41 remaining.
Florida, which outscored its visitors 43-26 in the second half, also took advantage of its size against Troy (1-6) and outscored the Trojans, 40-20, in the paint.
With a fast-paced offense from the start, the Gators jumped out to a 14-6 lead with a pair of three-point baskets, a couple of easy buckets from McIntyre and six points from Moss, who finished with a game-high five assists.
After trading a couple of baskets from beyond the arc, the Gators (6-3) used their size to their advantage as McIntyre and Moss combined for 11 of Florida’s first 17 points with nine of those points coming from inside the paint.
With the Gators leading 18-14 and 9:44 remaining in the first half, Svete made back-to-back three-pointers and McIntyre put in another shot down low and give Florida a nine-point advantage.
Florida made their three-point attempts count in the first half by making 5-of-7 from behind the arc and nearly 52 percent from the field.
George was quiet early on, but after making a layup with 6:23 until the half, the Gators’ lone senior reeled off a total of seven points and pulled down five rebounds to put Florida out front 44-36 heading into the break.
Florida’s four-player bench made its presence felt early on by accounting for 23 of 44 first-half points and finished with 45 points.
The Gators kept fighting on every play against a Troy team that continuously made five-person substitutions in an effort to keep up with Florida’s up-tempo offensive attack.
Florida withstood a three-point barrage from the Trojans, who attempted 18 three-point field goals in the first half and 34 overall with the Gator defense allowing Troy to connect on nine for the game.
The Gators, who extended their home winning streak to 10, return to action on Friday when they play host to Pacific (7-0) in the O’Connell Center beginning at 7 p.m.
The radio call of the game can be heard live in Gainesville on The Star 99.5 FM, with the audio available free online thru www.Gatorzone.com, the official website of the Florida Gators. GatorVision.tv will provide live streaming video of the game for a small subscription fee.
*five Gators tallied a double-figure scoring effort for the second time this season
*the win was Florida’s 10th consecutive at home, as well as its 11th straight at home versus non-conference teams
*for the sixth time this year, every Gator who dressed for the game, scored
*Lily Svete scored a career-high 14 points
*two freshmen were the starting lineup for the Gators for the first time since March 6, 2003: Carlie Needles got her second career start and Christin Mercer started for the first time in her career
*Jennifer George posted her first double-double of the year and the 20th of her career
*Vicky McIntyre posted her first double-double of the year and the third of her career
*Carlie Needles scored in double-figures for the third time
*Sydney Moss scored in double-figures for the fourth time
*the 87 points is a season-high for Florida
Florida Head Coach Amanda Butler
“I thought it was a really good win for us. We want to play well at home. We want to play well everywhere, but when you’re coming off a disappointment as we are, to be back at home felt good. It was good to be back in front of our home fans and to play a ball game like this where we got to do what we do best, which was run without compromising our inside game. I thought it was a great bounce back game for us, and it was important since we have to generate momentum going into the next one.”
On having five players in double figures
“I thought it was great balance. We’ve got a lot of people that can be threatening. I thought offensively we did a really good job of working well together, but everyone individually took their shots at the right time. I thought we had great teamwork and great shot selection. For the most part we knocked most of them down, but that was because they were good shots.”
On Sydney Moss
“Syd’s just a playmaker. Sometimes you don’t know how those plays are going to come, but I think all of us coaches and teammates have come to expect that something good is going to happen when she is on the floor, whether the ball is in her hands or whether it’s a big rebound. She’s a fantastic passer and does a great job of looking for her teammates. It’s a great luxury to have a player like Sydney.”
UF Redshirt-Freshman Carlie Needles
On going a run at the start of the second half
“Like we’ve said all year, our defense really generates our offense so we kind of buckled down, got a few shots, and hit some shots along the stretch. Our defense really ignites our fire.”
On slowing the team down
“Coming into the game, the coaches were telling us how they come down and they shoot a lot of shots, which you saw. They took quick shots and were a really good transition team. Our emphasis was our defense. We just had to stay down and contest every three-point shot, and we still gave them more than we probably should have given them. We had to play Florida defense, and obviously from the outcome of the game, Florida defense is pretty good.”
Troy Head Coach Chanda Rigby
“We played a good Florida team today. They [Florida] were very well balanced – they had good shooters and good girls on the inside. It was a step up, to me, from the competition we’ve been playing and I think we did well with it. For three-fourths of that game, we were out-rebounding them and we had no business being in that game with rebounds with them, so that’s one of the things I’m most proud of, our rebound efforts.”
On scheduling games against SEC teams
“They played at a different level tonight and that’s what I want them to know they can do. If they can just transfer that back to the people in our league, we should beat some people.”
On going into Sunday vs. Alabama State
“We just don’t want to regress. If we play Alabama State like we played the Florida Gators tonight, we should be fine and we really, really need a win to keep morale going and things like that. We just hope we can keep this level of play and this rebounding effort. I thought the offense looked much more mature tonight. We didn’t just score in one way tonight – we scored off the dribble, we scored the three, we went inside, but we didn’t score as much inside because they were so much bigger. So, they showed some maturity on offense, as well.”
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Twitter: @GatorZoneWBK and @CoachButlerUF