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Lily Svete has averaged 10.5 points over UF’s last two games, nailing 7-of-9 three-point attempts

Saturday February 9, 2013Gators Begin Road Trip on Sunday at Auburn - 3 pm ET

Auburn, AL

Lily Svete has averaged 10.5 points over UF’s last two games, nailing 7-of-9 three-point attempts

Florida returns to the court following a midweek bye and begins and two-game road trip - first stop: Sunday in Auburn, Ala., where the Gators and Tigers will meet for the 50th time.

 

The game at Auburn Arena will tip-off at 3 p.m. ET and be televised live on SportSouth, FS Southwest and SunSports (Cox Ch. 48 in Gainesville). The radio broadcast can be heard live on The Star 99.5 FM (WBXY) in Gainesville and on AM930 (WFXJ) in Jacksonville, with the free audio available through www.gatorzone.com, the official website of the Florida Gators.

 

Florida is coming off a much-needed 87-54 win against Alabama on Sun., Feb. 3, when the Gators snapped their five-game losing streak.

 

“We had great balance in that game, it was really a team win,” UF head coach Amanda Butler said. “When we’re playing our best that’s what it looks like. We have four or five players scoring in double-figures. Rebounding is spread around. We had a lot of assisted baskets. Tempo and defense were really in place.

 

“I know we had some key individuals who really sparked that,” Butler continued. “Lily Svete is shooting the ball great right now. Christin Mercer was in that first five and really helped set the tone. Hopefully, we took a lot of confidence into the bye week and will spring-board us into Sunday’s game at Auburn.”

 

Over the last two games, Mercer, a freshman, is averaging team-bests of 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds - and that includes her 18-point, 11 rebound (both career-highs) night against Alabama, when she also earned her fourth career starting assignment.

 

Svete has averaged 10.5 points over UF’s last two games, nailing 7-of-9 three-point attempts. The redshirt-junior is on pace to have the best season of her career. She has at least doubled her average in every statistical category and improved her shooting percentages from long range and overall. Last year she averaged 2.3 points and 1.0 rebounds while hitting 23.3 percent (14-60) of her three-point tries and playing 8.7 minutes per game. This season, Svete is recording 5.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, sinking 41.6 percent (32-77) from beyond the arc and playing 16.8 minutes per game while starting 19 games.

 

Auburn leads the 49-game series against Florida, 32-17, including a commanding 15-4 record when playing in Auburn. The Gators won both meetings against the Tigers last season, including the 70-60 victory in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament held in Nashville, Tenn.

 

Florida’s last win at Auburn was Feb. 29, 2004, when the Gators took the 71-60 decision.

 

The Tigers are 9-2 at home this season at Auburn Arena where they average 70.6 points per game while holding opponents to just 51.5 points per game.

 

“We always say that road wins count double, and maybe in February they count triple because you’re going to such tough places to play,” Butler said. “If you’re able to win, you know that you’ve played a good ballgame. A road win means you probably won the paint.

 

“We have to play a very solid and complete ballgame against Auburn,” Butler shared. “They’re a good team, a very complete ball club that almost knocked Georgia off at Georgia. They can shoot the ball. They have great size. They have a new coach who has injected a lot of energy into the program. They are playing very well right now and hungry for a win and we can understand all of those things.”

 

Auburn just missed upsetting No. 9/10 Georgia in Athens on Thur., Feb. 7, and a 3-of-15 free throw effort contributed to the 61-58 loss, the Tiger’s seventh straight setback. Each of Auburn’s last four games have been decided by 10 points or less, while seven of its 10 Southeastern Conference games have been decided by that small margin.

 

Entering the season, only three current players had suited up with the Gators for an away game in the last two years, with senior Jennifer George joining juniors Lily Svete and Jaterra Bonds with recent experience playing in hostile arenas.  Redshirt-sophomore Kayla Lewis had not played a road game since Jan. 23, 2011 at LSU, as she missed the final 19 games of her freshman year while the three games she played last season prior to redshirting were at home.

 

Florida senior Jennifer George, who was named as preseason first-team All-SEC selections by the league’s coaches and media, leads the Gators in scoring (12.3), rebounding (8.0), steals (1.9) and field goal percentage (52.2%) and ranks second for blocked shots (32).

 

George continues to work her way back from an injury she first sustained during the game against LSU on Jan. 6 and re-injured against Tennessee on Jan. 13. With a hobbled George, Florida lost five straight games, but halted its five-game skid with a commanding 87-54 win against Alabama in Gainesville on Feb. 3.

 

Overall, Jaterra Bonds is averaging 12.0 points (second on the team) with 3.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists (leads the team) per game. Bonds, who is the only Gator who has started every game, ranks ninth in SEC games for scoring (15.1 ppg) and ninth for free throw percentage (74.6%).

 

Freshman Sydney Moss is tied for the Gator lead in assists (3.3 apg), ranks second on the team for steals (1.6 pg), while ranking third for scoring (10.1), and rebounding (6.1 rpg). She has flirted with a triple-double four times.

 

Among SEC freshmen entering the games of Feb. 10, Moss ranks second for assists, fourth for rebounding and third for scoring. She has been the Gator’s game leader for assists 10 times, for rebounding six times and scoring four times.

 

The Tigers also feature a trio averaging a double-figure scoring effort, with sophomore guard Hasina Muhammad netting 16.0 points with 5.3 rebounds per game, senior forward Blanche Alverson contributing 11.3 points and 5.7 rebounds and junior guard Tyrese Tanner tallying 12.3 points and 4.1 boards per game.

 

Florida (14-9, 3-6 SEC) at Auburn (13-10, 2-8 SEC)

Sun., Feb. 10, 2013 * 3 p.m. ET

Auburn Arena (9,121)

Auburn, Ala.

 

FLORIDA GAME NOTES (PDF)

AUBURN GAME NOTES (PDF)

 

Game Coverage & More!

Radio: LIVE on The Star 99.5 FM (WBXY) in Gainesville and on AM930 (WFXJ) in Jacksonville with Adam Schick & Brittany Davis

Internet Audio: LIVE thru www.Gatorzone.com (FREE)

Internet Scoring: LIVE thru www.Gatorzone.com (FREE)

Internet Video: ESPN3.com (Blacked out in the SEC footprint)

Television: LIVE on SportSouth, FS Southwest, SunSports (Cox Ch. 48 in Gainesville) with Dave Neal & Elizabeth Moreau

Auburn Arena Press Row: 334.844.1933 / 334.844.1935

 

Opening Tip

*the Gators had a midweek bye; last game was Sun., Feb. 3 - defeated Alabama, 87-54

* Florida’s last win at Auburn was Feb. 29, 2004, when the Gators took the 71-60 decision

*the Gators have used a different starting lineup in each of their last eight games; 11 different starting lineups this year

*in 11 games this year every Gator who suited up, scored

*UF is 2-5 in true away games this season

*Seven of UF’s 9 SEC games have been decided by 8 points or less

*Overall UF has played 10 games decided by 10 points or less (5-5)

*Jaterra Bonds has been UF’s leading scorer in 5 of 8 SEC games

*Jennifer George is preseason 1st Team All-SEC selection by coaches & media

 

 

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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