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Jaterra Bonds and the Gators are looking for their third straight win on Thursday.

Wednesday February 13, 2013Florida Plays at No. 11/13 Texas A&M on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET


Jaterra Bonds and the Gators are looking for their third straight win on Thursday.

Florida concludes its two-game road trip on Thursday in College Station, Texas, where the Gators will travel 839 miles (as the crow flies) and play Southeastern Conference-leading Texas A&M.


Tip-off from Reed Arena is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. CT) and will be televised live on COX Sports/Charter Sports Southeast (Cox Sports will simulcast in Gainesville on channel 259). Fans also can watch the action on the internet through, as well as on the WatchESPN App.


The radio broadcast can be heard live on The Star 99.5 FM (WBXY) in Gainesville and on AM930 (WFXJ) in Jacksonville, with the broadcast also available for free through, the official website of the Florida Gators.



VIDEO: Coach Butler Recaps Sunday’s win at Auburn and Previews Thursday’s game at Texas A&M:








The Gators (15-9, 4-6 SEC) enter Thursday’s game having won their last two contests, while the Aggies (19-5, 9-1 SEC) sport an SEC-leading seven-game win streak, including Sunday’s thrilling 50-48 win at South Carolina.


Thursday’s game also is the first of two consecutive games against nationally-ranked opponents, as Texas A&M jumped to No. 11 in the Feb. 11 Associated Press poll (No. 13 in the Coaches poll), while UF’s Sunday opponent is No. 13 Georgia, ranked No. 11 in the Coaches/USA Today.


“They are the team in the league that is playing the best right now,” UF head coach Amanda Butler said. “They are certainly not short on talent, either. Thursday will be a battle between who I think are the two best point guards in the league in Jaterra Bonds and Adrienne Pratcher. Pratcher is a senior and is playing really, really high-level basketball. Kelsey Bone is probably the most dominant low block player in the league, as well. All the pieces in between are awful good, too. They are very good.


“We’ll have to play very smart, disciplined basketball; all of the things that we’ve been doing, but magnified in a positive way,” Butler added.


Pratcher is a 5-foot-7 senior guard averaging 8.3 points and 4.5 assists per game, while sporting the SEC’s best assists-to-turnover ratio at +2.8 (108 assists, 38 turnovers).


Bone is a 6-foot-4 center and leads the Aggies with 17.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, ranking third and fourth in the SEC, respectively, while leading the conference with a 59.2 percent shooting mark.


The Aggies are 12-2 at home this year, with the their only losses coming against top-10 foes, with the most recent setback on November 18 against then-No. 2-ranked Connecticut.


While eight of Florida’s 10 SEC games this year have been decided by eight points or less, Texas A&M sports scoring margin of +18.2 in its 10 league outings. The Aggies’ lone SEC loss was at Kentucky, 65-62.


“Reed Arena is a real tough place to play and I think Texas A&M is a team that is playing great February basketball,” Butler said. “For us, this is a fantastic opportunity. It’s a great chance to not only get a league win against one of the team’s that’s tied for the league lead, but also doing that on the road. That would really solidify who we think we are and give us another boost of confidence. They are very good.”


Texas A&M won the only prior meeting in the series between the Gators and Aggies, taking the 78-76 win in the first round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament.  The game was played in College Station, Texas, however Florida was the higher-seed (No. 4) and would have been awarded the host site if a Rod Stewart concert was not already scheduled in the O’Connell Center that weekend. Instead, the Gators took their game on the road in what would be the final collegiate game for Amanda Butler, who was Florida’s senior captain. Butler scored 15 points, hitting four three-pointers, while dishing five assists in 39 minutes of action.


“I would much rather reflect on this current experience in Reed Arena,” said Butler about the game. “That previous game is a little part of Gator history and I’m very proud to be part of Gator history. I’d like for us to focus on the next chapter, for sure.”



Thursday’s game will be the 16th time the Gators will have ever played a game with the boarders of the Lone Star State. Florida’s last trip to the nation’s 28th state was back on Dec. 8, 2006, when Florida lost at TCU, 83-72. The Gators sport a 9-6 all-time record when playing in the state of Texas, but have lost their last two contests.


Florida senior Jennifer George was named as preseason first-team All-SEC selections by the league’s coaches and media, as was Texas A&M junior Kelsey Bone.


“They have a ridiculously good high-low game and we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to defend that,” Butler shared. “When you’re playing against individuals who are as talented as they are, have a system that works and are very, very well coached, then there probably isn’t going to be just a plan ‘A’. You have to figure out what plans A, B and C are. They pose a lot of different concerns and we have to be ready.”


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.


Over the last three games, freshman Christin Mercer is averaging team-bests of 12.3 points and 8.0 rebounds - and that includes her 18-point, 11 rebound (both career-highs) night against Alabama (Feb. 2), when she also earned her fourth career starting assignment. She hit 72 percent (18-25) of her shots from the floor during those last three games.


In UF’s last three games, redshirt-junior Lily Svete has been even more impressive, averaging 10.7 points while draining 58.8 percent (10-17) of her three-point attempts and 50 percent overall (10-20).


Overall, Bonds is averaging 12.0 points (second on the team) with 3.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists (second on the team) per game.  Bonds, who is the only Gator who has started every game, ranks 10th in SEC games for scoring (14.7 ppg) and eighth for free throw percentage (75.3%).


Preseason Naismith Player of the Year candidate Jennifer George leads the Gators in scoring (12.2), rebounding (7.9), steals (1.9) and ranks second for blocked shots (34) and field goal percentage (51.2%).


Freshman Sydney Moss is the Gator leader in assists (3.4 apg), ranks second on the team for steals (1.6 pg), while ranking third for scoring (10.0), and rebounding (6.1 rpg). She has flirted with a triple-double five 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 11 times, for rebounding seven times and scoring four times.



No Love for the Gators

Valentine’s Day has been everything but rosy for the Gators, who are just 3-8 all-time when playing on the 14th of February, including a 1-6 against SEC foes.


The Gators also have never won on this day on the road in their four attempts and have lost those four games by an average of 19.3 points per game, the last of which coming against No. 5-ranked Tennessee in 2010 in Knoxville, where the Lady Vols ‘massacred’ the Gators, 83-44.


Four of the last five games played on Valentine’s Day by the Gators have been against ranked teams, their only victory coming against an un-ranked Kentucky squad in 2002.


Florida and Texas A&M have never met on Valentine’s Day, but hopefully for the Gators, Cupid’s arrow can strike and such a substantial victory might help heal some of the past heartache.



Florida (15-9, 4-6 SEC) at #11/13 Texas A&M (19-5, 9-1 SEC)

Thurs., Feb. 14, 2013 * 9 p.m. ET

Reed Arena (12,989)

College Station, Texas





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 (FREE)

Internet Scoring: LIVE thru (FREE)

Internet Video: (no blackout)

Television: LIVE on COX Sports/Charter Sports Southeast (Cox Sports will simulcast in Gainesville channel 259) with Matt Stewart & Maria Taylor 

Reed Arena Press Row: (979) 862-6944


Opening Tip

*this will be the second meeting between UF and TAMU; the initial game was in the first round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament - and Amanda Butler’s final collegiate game

*Texas A&M is the fifth nationally-ranked opponent UF is playing this year (ranking at tip-off); Gators are 0-4

*the Gators have used 11 different starting lineups this year

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

*UF is 3-5 in true away games this season

*Eight of UF’s 10 SEC games have been decided by 8 points or less

*Overall UF has played 12 games decided by 10 points or less (6-6)

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



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

Official Website:


Twitter: @GatorZoneWBK  and  @CoachButlerUF 



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