Friday November 8, 2013WBK: Seven Gators Score in Double Figures En Route to Season-Opening Win, 93-65
Ronni Williams became just the second Gator freshman with a double-double in her collegiate debut.
University of Florida freshman Ronni Williams (Daytona Beach, Fla.) had a historic night and seven Gators tallied a double-figure scoring effort as Florida defeated Bethune-Cookman University, 93-65, in the season-opener for both teams played at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center Friday.
Williams came off the bench and recorded 15 points with 17 rebounds and became just the second Gator freshman to record a double-double in her UF debut. Williams, who also blocked a game-high five shots, joined All-American and U.S. Olympian Tammy Jackson, who netted 13 points and 12 rebounds against Virginia on Nov. 20, 1981.
Friday also marked the first time in program history seven Gators scored in double-figures, as senior Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) scored a career-high-tying 15 points on 4-of-6 three-pointers, sophomore Antoinette Bannister (Jacksonville, Fla.) scored 13 in her Gator debut, sophomore Cassie Peoples (San Antonio, Texas) scored 12 in her Gator debut and sophomores January Miller (Orlando, Fla.) and Carlie Needles (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) both added 11 points.
Senior Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) rounded out the double-figure scoring with 10 points, while dishing eight assists, grabbing six rebounds and collecting a game-high five steals.
Postgame Press Conference,
Video (FREE): Coach Butler, Ronni
Williams, Antoinette Bannister and Cassie Peoples
Turning Point: After Bethune-Cookman cut its deficit to eight points, 58-50, with 11:35 remaining, Florida outscored the Wildcats, 35-15 the rest of the game.
Stat Line of the Game: Ronni Williams’ double-double of 15 points (on 7-of-9 shooting), 17 rebounds with five blocks
· Florida leads the all-time series against Bethune-Cookman, 6-0
· Friday’s game was the first between the two programs since Dec. 19, 2003
· Antoinette Bannister: enter game for first time at 14:43 mark and scored 25 seconds later after collecting a defensive rebound and dribbling the length of the court for the layup; finished the night with 13 points, three rebounds and one steal.
· Cassie Peoples: checked into the game for the first time as a Gator at the 18:50 mark of second half; first points of her Gator career are from a 3-pointer from the left side of the arc with 17:26 remaining in the game; collected 12 points, two assists and one rebound
· Ronni Williams: checked in for first time in career at 18:05 mark of first half; scored first collegiate points on a driving layup with 15:19 remaining in the first half; finished with 17 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks
Numbers of Note:
· Today was the first time in program history that Florida had seven players in double-figure scoring
· The 93 points were the most by Florida in a season opener since tagging Florida Atlantic with 98 to begin the 1999-2000 campaign
· The 93 points were the most by the Gators since a double-overtime 103-97 loss to Vanderbilt on Feb. 6, 2011
· The Gators went into the locker room with a 10-point lead, 48-38. Florida was 17-2 last year when leading at halftime.
· Florida is now 7-1 under Butler when scoring in the 90’s.
· Antoinette Bannister: played her first collegiate basketball game in 314 days (last played Dec. 30, 2012 for North Carolina vs. Clemson)
· Cassie Peoples: played her first collegiate basketball game in 706 days (last played Dec. 4, 2011 for Texas vs. Tennessee)
· Jaterra Bonds scored the first points of season: a 3-point play at the 19:48 mark that gave UF a 3-0 lead
· January Miller earned the fourth starting assignment of her career
· Jaterra Bonds has 57 career double-figure scoring games
· Florida has won 16 consecutive non-conference home games, the fourth-longest streak in program history
· The Gators have hit at least one 3-pointer in 99 consecutive games
· The Gators have won their last three games against other teams from the state of Florida
· Jaterra Bonds has started 72 consecutive games, the fourth-longest streak in program history
· January Miller has scored in 30 consecutive games, dating back to last season
· Jaterra Bonds has scored in 26 consecutive games, dating back to last season
· Carlie Needles has scored in 4 consecutive games, dating back to last season
· Jaterra Bonds has recorded 11 consecutive double-figure scoring games, dating back to last season
· Lily Svete tied her career-high point total, tallying 15
Quotes from the Court:
“Fantastic team effort. I was proud of how our minutes were distributed, our points were distributed, and for the most part our rebounds were distributed, except for the giant bunch that Ronni got for us. It was a great debut for these three women and I think the best is yet to come for them. You always feel good as a team when you feel like everyone contributed big minutes, big plays that you know will be so crucial for us. I was really proud of the way we handled the adversity, too, of having foul trouble with so few people. I thought we did a really good job of just playing tough and hanging in there. People had to play extra minutes where maybe they would have gotten to take a breather, but they just sucked it up and handled it really well.” – UF head coach Amanda Butler’s opening statement
“I was just excited to be out there, just ready to play my first game as a Gator and to play in front of my family with this great group of ladies and coach. It was a blessing. I thought I did pretty good, grabbed rebounds, scored, but mainly grabbed the rebounds.” – UF freshman Ronni Williams on playing her first collegiate game
“My first half I was a little nervous, but as I got in I was like ‘Okay, just play your game. You’ve been here before.’ I was just really excited to be out there with my teammates and having Coach Butler was a blessing.” – UF sophomore Antoinette Bannister on playing her first game as a Gator
“When I first stepped out on the court for warm up I was extremely nervous and anxious to play, but our team did a very good job of playing in the first half and we kind of eased things up a little bit. Of course I said a couple of prayers, one at the beginning of the game and one at halftime, just to ease my nerves a little bit.” – UF redshirt-sophomore Cassie Peoples on playing her first game as a Gator
“I thought that we came out and we played with a lot of intensity. We played very hard. We didn’t play the front of the jersey. That was the biggest thing for us coming out of the locker room. We’re not playing SEC Florida, just go play against five other young ladies, and I though in the first half we did a really good job of that and midway through the second. Then, the second half, it got a little bit away from us. We fouled a little bit and working back and transitioning. Florida was able to capitalize on those errors.” - Bethune-Cookman head coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis on her team’s performance
“It’s the first game of the season. There’s a lot of fouls being called. A lot of times getting to the free-throw line. Florida did a great job connecting on their free-throws, which you expect them to do at home. We’ve got to do a better job of connecting when we get to the free-throw line.” – B-CU head coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis on her team’s free throw shooting (11-25)
What: North Florida (0-1) at Florida (1-0)
When: Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 at 2 p.m.
Where: Stephen C. O’Connell Center * Gainesville, Fla.
Game Coverage & More!
· Radio: LIVE on WGGG-AM (1230) in Gainesville with Adam Schick & Brittany Davis
· Internet Audio: LIVE thru www.Gatorzone.com (FREE)
· Television: none
· Internet Video: LIVE on www.Gatorvision.tv (subscription)
· Tickets: FREE to those with VANDERBILT football ticket stub; $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
· Football Ticket Promotion: Stick around town following the Vanderbilt football game on Saturday. Show your football ticket at the O’Connell Center ticket windows and receive FREE admission to the game.
· Faith and Family Sunday: Fans who bring a church bulletin will receive 2-for-1 general admission seating.
· 40th Season Commemorative Drinking Glass: The first 500 fans will receive a commemorative drinking glass celebrating 40 seasons of Florida Women’s Basketball.
For all of the latest information on Florida women’s basketball:
Official Website: www.gatorzone.com/basketball/women
Twitter: @GatorZoneWBK and @CoachButlerUF