Thursday November 21, 2013Gator Rally Falls Short Against Florida State
January Miller scored a career-high 19 points for the Gators.
University of Florida sophomore January Miller (Orlando, Fla.) scored a career-high 19 points and freshman Ronni Williams (Daytona Beach, Fla.) recorded her second double-double but it was Florida State that came away with the 76-68 decision against the Gators on Thursday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
The Seminoles led by as many as 16 in the second stanza when the Gators went on an 18-8 run that lasted 5:34 and cut the FSU lead to 66-60, with 4:29 remaining. Miller had seven points, Carlie Needles (Highlands Ranch, Col.) converted a four-point play, Williams added four points and Christin Mercer (Douglasville, Ga.) hit one free throw during the spree.
The teams traded baskets for the next three minutes, with Florida coming within five with 1:34 left in the game.
The Gators immediately forced a turnover after Jaterra Bonds’ pair of free throws and Florida found its way to the free throw line, but missed both tries. Florida was forced to foul after that and the Seminoles converted 5-of-6 in free throws in the final 48 seconds to seal the win.
There were three tied scores and five lead changes in the first half and with the Gators holding a 14-12 lead after a pair of free throws from Cassie Peoples (San Antonio, Texas) with 9:48 on the clock, Florida State embarked on a 14-2 run over the next 4:56 and took a 26-16 lead, one it was able to maintain for the rest of the game.
Williams netted the second double-double of her young career, finishing with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while senior Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) added 12 points, six assists and three steals, while sinking all 10 of her free throw attempts.
The loss snapped Florida’s 17-game home win streak against non-conference opponents. Florida State was the last time to post a win in the O’Dome, doing so on Nov. 17, 2009.
Both teams put of mini runs throughout the game, but Florida State’s 10-2 spurt midway through the first half was one the Gators couldn’t seem to answer and played catch-up the final
· Florida 3-2
· Florida State 4-0
· Despite the loss, Florida still leads the series 41-29 all-time against Florida State, including a 19-9 record at home.
Numbers of Note:
· Freshman Ronni Williams notched 14 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for her second career double-double. Williams has scored in double-digits three times this season and has notched double-figure boards in two games.
· Senior Jaterra Bonds scored 12 points for her 5th double-figure effort of the season and 61st of her career, including 15 straight.
· Miller made a career-high seven field goals, including a career-high four treys. She also stole a career-high four balls.
· Bonds made a season-high 10 free throws on 10 attempts from the charity stripe.
· Bonds also led the Gators in assists, dishing out six
· Kayla Lewis had two takeaways, giving the junior 150 career steals.
· Christin Mercer saw her first minutes of the season and tallied a career-high five steals and five boards wile putting up three points.
· This was the first game this season UF had nine Gators dress and play
· The Gators were out-rebounded 42-38, but outscored the Seminoles on second-chance points 15-12.
· Florida capitalized on 26 FSU turnovers, scoring 28 points.
· The Gators continued to show depth, as they scored 34 points off the bench, compared to just 12 points from the Seminole reserves.
· Bonds started her 75th-straight game as a Gator, the fourth-longest streak in program history, just one shy of the third-spot held by Talatha Bingham with 76.
· Under head coach Amanda Butler, Florida is now 50-6 at home vs. non-conference opponents.
Quotes from the Court:
Florida Head Coach Amanda Butler
“You know you have to give Florida State a lot of credit for coming in here and the way they played, and how hard they played. We basically, in our eyes, I think we lost the toughness battle in parts of the game today – not the entire game by any means. There were certainly bright spots. I think we played hard, but there’s a difference between playing hard and playing tough and we’ve just got to use these opportunities to grow and find ways to improve, and build on the good, and make corrections. You know, really take to heart and make corrections the things that we’ve got to get better at.”
On the positives and the negatives that she saw tonight:
“The positives, obviously Jan (Miller) shot the ball great and gave us a great spark there. Ronni’s (Williams) consistency in terms of being able to deliver a double-double. I thought Jaterra (Bonds) was really trying to push tempo and created some good things for us in pockets, but we just had too many people that we rely on who weren’t their reliable selves tonight. Whether you’re looking at the stat sheet or whether you’re just looking at a mental foundation maybe that they laid down for us. It was just way too much up and down, up and down, up and down and you just can’t beat a good team like that no matter where you’re playing.”
Florida guard January Miller
On not giving up in the game despite being down:
“That’s always been a big thing for me is fight. I think we have the potential, but we just never finished through. I think we just need to have that extra ounce of fight that we need to just really finish out these games. We’re just as good as any of these teams, but if we just fought more and just were really relentless and just said we’re not losing this game. I think it’ll go a long way.”
Florida State Head Coach Sue Semrau
On what the difference-maker for FSU was in the game:
“I think the runs. We had runs. We were sustaining the runs, and I though Florida did a great job of matching those runs. I noticed it was a lot of character, especially with the two guards.”
On what it means when big players foul out but the team can still hang on:
“You have to credit the toughness of the rest of the kids. We had two freshmen on the floor to finish the game, and neither one of them was in a really bad situation. We did a great job on the boards. I thought toward the end of the game we had still silly, early season mistakes that we have to clean up.”
On what can be improved on after tonight:
“We can’t turn the ball over like that. I think a lot of it was careless.”
St. John’s (4-0) at Florida (3-2)
Stephen C. O’Connell Center (11,373) * Gainesville, Fla.
Tue., Nov. 26, 2013 * 7 p.m.
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Tickets: $5 for reserved seats; $4 adult general admission; $2 for youth age 17 and under; FREE for UF and Santa Fe students
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