Friday January 18, 2013Gators Host South Carolina on Family 4-Pack Sunday at 1 p.m.
Florida enjoyed its first of two mid-week byes during the Southeastern Conference portion of its schedule and now returns to the court where the Gators (13-5, 2-2 SEC) face another huge challenge when they welcome No. 19/18 South Carolina to the O’Connell Center on Sunday at 1 p.m.
It’s a “Family 4-Pack Sunday” and fans can get 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 regular sodas for only $20.
The game will be televised live statewide on FS Florida, as well as on Fox College Sports Atlantic, which is a channel typically available on digital cable sports tiers. It’s also available via DirecTV. Fans can visit the following link and see if FCSA is available in their area: http://fcs.channelfinder.net/start.asp
2 WAYS 2 WATCH Coach Butler’s Weekly Update:
You Tube: http://youtu.be/5P_RfJ1EQbE
2 WAYS 2 WATCH juniors Jaterra Bonds and Vicky McIntyre talk with the media:
The Gamecocks (15-3, 3-2 SEC) are coming off Thursday’s 66-59 victory against LSU. In addition to the win against the Lady Tigers, USC has defeated Vanderbilt and Mississippi State while falling to Tennessee (73-53) and at Georgia (42-40).
“This bye-week was important for us to have some time off because the games in our league are so physically taxing,” UF head coach Amanda Butler said. “We’ve been able to rest a little while adding a wrinkle to our offense and a wrinkle to our defense. We’ve also had the time to address Jennifer (George) being out – for her to get healthier and deal with a worst-case scenario if we don’t have her for our next game.”
Thru games played Thur., Jan. 17, South Carolina boasted the nation’s third best scoring defense in the country, allowing just 46.6 points per game, while ranking No. 8 in the nation for rebound margin at 11.2. Florida’s scoring offense ranks 18th in the country, chalking up 74.2 points per game, while shooting 44 percent from the floor, a mark that ranks No. 27.
“We have to limit turnovers,” Butler said. “They are one of the best defensive teams, not just in our conference, but in the country and play a really, really tough, physical style. We have got to be ready for that. We have to anticipate it. We have to make sure we set great screens and meet our passes. All of the ‘basketball 101’ items need to be taken care of. At the same time, we have to make sure that our defense feels equally as challenging. We can’t rest on defense because we’re having to expend a little more energy on offense.”
All four of the Gator’s SEC games this year have been decided by seven points or less, including its most recent outing - a 78-75 overtime loss to No. 9 Tennessee. Overall, eight of Florida’s games this season have been decided by 10 points or less (5-3 record).
South Carolina was voted to finish sixth in a preseason poll of the SEC’s head coaches and seventh by the media, who also selected Florida to place eighth and ninth, respectively.
Two of the best players in the league will be on the court Sunday, as Florida senior Jennifer George (Fresno, Calif.) was named as preseason first-team All-SEC selections by the league’s coaches and media and USC’s Ieasia Walker was honored as a preseason second-team performer by both.
Walker is averaging 9.5 points with 3.4 rebounds and 2.8 steals. Sophomore forward Aleighsa Welch leads the Gamecocks with 12.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, while freshman Tiffany Mitchell added 10.6 points and 6.2 rebounds.
South Carolina won both regular-season meeting against the Gators last year, snapping Florida’s five-game win streak in the series. The last four meetings between the two teams have been decided by a combined total of 14 points, with each school claiming two wins.
Over the last four games, junior guard Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) is averaging 18.8 points per game and has been UF leading scorer in all four, highlighted by her effort from the free throw line where she has converted 29-of-33 free throws. Overall, Bonds is averaging 11.9 points with 3.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
“Things are starting to click” for freshman January Miller (Orlando, Fla.), who is averaging 8.5 points while hitting 3-of-5 (60%) from the three-point arc and 10-of-15 free throws (70%) in SEC games. During the 14 non-conference games, Miller tallied 4.6 points, while converting 5-of-20 (25%) three-point attempts and 12-of-19 free throws (63.2%).
“What you have to know and really appreciate about January is she’s here (at UF) because she’s a scorer and the other parts of her game she’s worked really, really hard to improve,” Butler said. “She’s come a long, long way. Some of that poise is also the confidence she’s developed since the beginning of the season. There’s no question she’s our most improved player.”
Leading scorer and rebounder Jennifer George came off the bench in UF’s Jan. 10 win at Mississippi State because she dislocated her shoulder with 5:06 remaining in the Jan. 6 victory against LSU. George played a season-low 17 minutes against the Lady Bulldogs and did not score, but still managed three rebounds, three blocked shots and an assist. George suffered the same injury with 3:56 remaining in the first half of UF’s overtime loss to Tennessee (Jan. 13) and had been the team’s leading scorer with eight points before the setback.
George is a Preseason Naismith Player of the Year candidate and has scored in double-figures in 13 of the 17 games she has played this year. George is the SEC’s active career leader in double-doubles with 26, as well as in career leader in rebounds (796) and is second for blocks (156) and fifth for steals (143).
George leads the Gators in scoring (13.4), rebounding (8.5), steals (2.2) and field goal percentage (53.4%) and ranks second for blocked shots (21).
Freshman Sydney Moss (Union, Ky.) also is averaging a double-figure scoring effort, tallying 10.4 points per game. Among SEC freshmen entering the games of Jan. 20, Moss ranks second for assists (3.8 apg), third for rebounding (6.2 rpg) and fourth for scoring.
Redshirt-freshman Carlie Needles (Highlands Ranch, Col.) has been UF’s most consistent three-point shooting threat, converting 36-of-97 for an average of 37.1 percent from long range this season. Overall, Needles contributes 8.4 points per game.
Florida (13-5, 2-2 SEC) vs. #19/18 South Carolina (15-3, 3-2 SEC)
Sun., Jan. 20, 2013 * 1 p.m. ET
Stephen C. O’Connell Center (11,373)
*UF had a midweek bye, while USC defeated LSU 66-59 on Thursday
*South Carolina is the third ranked opponent UF has played this year
*the last four meetings have been decided by five points or less
*Over the last three+ years, UF has played 63 games decided by 10 points or less (5-3 this year - including all 4 SEC games)
*Jennifer George has 1,100 career points & 796 career rebounds
*George is preseason 1st Team All-SEC selection by coaches & media
Game Coverage & More!
Radio: LIVE on The Star 99.5 FM (WBXY) in Gainesville with Adam Schick & Brittany Davis
Internet Audio: LIVE thru www.Gatorzone.com (FREE)
Internet Scoring: LIVE thru www.Gatorzone.com (FREE)
Internet Video: LIVE on www.Gatorvision.tv (subscription)
Television: LIVE statewide on FS Florida (Cox Ch. 70 in Gainesville) & on Fox College Sports Atlantic (Cox Ch. 271 in Gainesville) with Mick Hubert & Mark Wise
O’Connell Center Press Row: 352-367-1801
Tickets: $5 for reserved seats; $4 adult general admission; $2 for youth age 17 and under; FREE for UF and Santa Fe students
Parking: FREE in the O’Connell Center lot
Additional Hoopla for Sunday’s Game
Family 4 Pack Sunday—4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, and 4 regular sodas for only $20. Savings of $28
Champions of Character Day 1-- Elementary and middle schools in Alachua, Marion, Columbia, Bradford and Putnam counties are invited to one of three select games. Students and faculty/staff will receive free admission voucher with a barcode. Each school is allowed to select up to 10 outstanding students to be recognized at halftime. Guests of students will receive $1 general admissions tickets!
“I Support Women’s Basketball” recyclable bag giveaway! — For all Season ticket holders/Gold Card members/Backcourt Club members
Campus Challenge Game 2: Rawlings and Keys vs. Beaty (Check in at Gate 3)
For all of the latest information on Florida women’s basketball:
Official Website: www.gatorzone.com/basketball/women
Twitter: @GatorZoneWBK and @CoachButlerUF