Wednesday February 20, 2013Gators Host Vanderbilt on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Florida Hosts Vanderbilt Thursday at 7 p.m.
Florida Hosts Vanderbilt Thursday at 7 p.m.
With just four regular-season games remaining, Florida looks to reverse its tough luck on the court where the team has lost its last two games to top-13-ranked teams when it plays host to Vanderbilt on Thursday in the O’Connell Center where tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET
The game will be televised live on CSS, also COX Sports/Charter Sports Southeast. Cox Sports will simulcast in Gainesville on channel 259.
The Gators will be Saluting Those Who Serve. Tickets are available to military members and their families at $2 per ticket and can be purchased day-of-game at the ticket office window. The first 250 fans will receive Saluting Those Who Serve t-shirts.
Coach Butler previews the game
You Tube: http://youtu.be/0ui8TiKqA2o
Jaterra Bonds and Kayla Lewis talked with the media prior to Wednesday’s practice
The Gators (15-11, 4-8 SEC) will look to get back on the winning track after falling to No. 13/12 Georgia (62-57) on Sunday at #11/13 Texas A&M, 78-71, last Thursday.
Vanderbilt (16-9, 6-6 SEC) was voted to finish fourth in a preseason poll of the Southeastern Conference head coaches and third by the media, who also selected Florida to place eighth and ninth, respectively.
“It’s crucial that we play our best tomorrow,” UF head coach Amanda Butler said. “Vanderbilt is a very good team. It’s an opportunity for a great win and one we’ve got to take advantage of on our home court, but there’s no two ways about it. It’s very important.”
Commodores Christina Foggie and Jasmine Lister both received recognition as preseason first-team honorees by the SEC coaches. Foggie, who leads Vanderbilt in scoring with 15.7 points per game, has been out the last two games with an injury but is expected to return for Thursday’s game. Lister contributes 11.9 points per game along with 5.6 assists and is one of the SEC’s top three-point shooters, connecting on 57 treys this year.
“We’ve just got to be ready for whatever they throw at us,” Butler said. “They had some players out the last couple games; we got to see them probably at their most limited the other night against Tennessee and they still looked awful good. Jasmine Lister is playing fantastic and is probably playing the best for them on the perimeter right now.
“Foggie is their leading scorer and led the league in scoring last year, so she’s very dynamic in a lot of different ways -- the way she can make plays behind a three-point line, the way she moves without the ball,” Butler said.
Senior forward Tiffany Clarke averages 15.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, while ranking second in the SEC for a 53.8 field goal percentage.
“Tiffany Clarke is one of the best low-block players in the league,” Butler continued. “She is cut from that same cloth of (Texas A&M’s) Kelsey Bone and (Georgia’s) Jasmine Hassell that we’ve struggled with in the past two games and so certainly we’ve got to pay a lot of attention to her.”
Thursday’s game will be the 51st played between Florida and Vanderbilt, which holds a 31-19 lead in the series, including an 11-10 edge in Gainesville.
Each of the last four games have been decided by eight points or less, with two of the last three games going to overtime to determine the winner. The Gator’s last win against the Commodores was on Feb. 25, 2011, when Florida shocked Vandy in Nashville, 74-69. That win halted the Gator’s seven-game skid versus VU.
UF’s last win against the Commodores in Gainesville was back on Jan. 22, 2006, when the then-unranked Gators knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 73-59.
Ten of the Gator’s 12 SEC games this year have been decided by eight points or less. Overall, 14 of Florida’s game this season have been decided by 10 points or less (6-8 record).
Florida’s last meeting against 12 of the 13 other teams from the SEC has been decided by 10 points or less. The only one that was not: this year’s home against Alabama (Feb. 3, 23-point win).
Over the last four games, junior Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) is averaging a team-best 14.5 points and has dished 15 assists with 14 turnovers, while converting 75.8 percent (25-33) from the free throw line.
Overall, Bonds is averaging 12.2 points (tied for the team lead) with 3.9 rebounds and 3.46 assists (second on the team) per game. Bonds, who is the only Gator who has started every game, ranks eighth in SEC games for scoring (14.8 ppg), fifth for free throw percentage (76.5%), tied for 13th for assist-to-turnover ratio (+0.8) and tied for 12th for assists (3.0 pg).
Freshman Christin Mercer (Douglasville, Ga.) is averaging over the last four games 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds - and that includes her 18-point, 11 rebound (both career-highs) night against Alabama (Feb. 2). She hit 68.6 percent (24-35) of her shots from the floor during those last four games.
Also during the last four games, redshirt-junior Lily Svete has knocked down 57.1 percent of her three-point attempts (12-21). Svete has scored in double-figures in three of the last four games. She has five double-figure scoring games this year and six in her career.
Jennifer George (Fresno, Calif.), UF’s lone senior, leads the Gators in rebounding (7.9), steals (1.9) and ranks tied for first for scoring (12.2) and second for blocked shots (36) and field goal percentage (49.8%).
Freshman Sydney Moss (Union, Ky.) is the Gator leader in assists (3.5 apg), ranks second on the team for rebounding (6.2 rpg) and steals (1.6 pg), while ranking third for scoring (9.8). She has flirted with a triple-double five times. Among SEC freshmen entering the games of Feb. 21, Moss ranks second for assists, third for rebounding and fourth for scoring.
Florida (15-11, 4-8 SEC) vs. Vanderbilt (16-9, 6-6 SEC)
Thurs., Feb. 21, 2013 * 7 p.m. ET
Stephen C. O’Connell Center (11,373)
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 (no blackout)
Television: LIVE on COX Sports/Charter Sports Southeast (Cox Sports will simulcast in Gainesville channel 259) with Bernie Guenther & Maria Taylor
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
*this will be the first and only regular-season meeting between Florida and Vanderbilt, which has won 8 of the last 9 vs. the Gators
*each of the last four meetings in the series has been decided by eight points or less - including 2 overtime games
*UF has four games remaining before the SEC Tournament
*Ten of UF’s 12 SEC games have been decided by 8 points or less
*Overall UF has played 14 games decided by 10 points or less (6-8)
*Jaterra Bonds has led UF in scoring in 6 of its SEC games
Additional Hoopla for Thursday’s Game
Saluting Those Who Serve: We will be Saluting Those Who Serve! Tickets are available to military members and their families at $2 per ticket (can be purchased day-of-game at the ticket office window). Also, the first 250 fans will receive Saluting Those Who Serve t-shirts!
Champions of Character III DAY THREE: 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!
Rowdy Reptiles Check-In: Students with a valid Gator 1 ID can check in inside Gate 3 of the O’Connell Center for this 4-point Rowdy Reptiles check-in!
For all of the latest information on Florida women’s basketball:
Official Website: www.gatorzone.com/basketball/women
Twitter: @GatorZoneWBK and @CoachButlerUF