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Friday November 29, 2013Gators Fall to Illinois State in Junkanoo Jam First Round, 68-64

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama Island

Senior Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) scored a team-best 25 points and helped Florida erase a late 14-point deficit, but Illinois State remained composed and handed the Gators a 68-64 loss in the Junkanoo Jam first round played at St. Georges High School on Friday afternoon.

 

Florida meets Oregon State (4-1) in the consolation game on Saturday at 1:45 p.m. EST. The only coverage of the game will be the radio broadcast that can be heard live in Gainesville on WGGG 1230AM and through the internet at www.GatorZone.com. The Beavers lost to No. 13/14 Penn State, 61-56, in their first-round game.

 

Illinois State used a 17-4 run midway through the first half to build a 24-10 lead. Bonds, who finished with a career-high-tying scoring effort, tallied four points in a mini 6-0 run that had the Gators within seven points with 3:12 remaining in the opening period, but the Redbirds scored the next six points en route to a 35-24 halftime lead.

 

The teams exchanged scores for the first seven minutes of the second half until the Gators ripped off an 11-0 spree and tied the game at 44 with 10:41 to play. Bonds scored five points during the run, while freshman Ronni Williams (Daytona Beach, Fla.), who tallied 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots, scored four points and Kayla Lewis (Decatur, Ga.), who finished with 10 points and eight rebounds, added an inside bucket.

 

Illinois State’s Chloe Nelson, who finished with a game-high 26 points, scored the game’s next three points to keep the Gators from taking the lead.

 

Florida tied the game three more times and even took a two-point lead, 51-49, with 7:49 remaining, but that was the only time the Redbird defense allowed the Gators consecutive scores after knotting the game.

 

The Gators managed to tie the score at 54 as late as 6:26 remaining when Williams hit one of two free throws, but Brianna Puni put back an offensive rebound and Nelson drained one of her four three-pointers and gave Illinois State the five-point cushion with 4:02 to go.

 

The teams traded scores until ISU converted back-to-back possessions, capped by Stekara Hall’s driving layup that put the Redbirds on top, 65-58, with 1:34 and that seemed to be the backbreaker.

 

The Gators, however, refused to fold and had one final push when senior Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) canned one of her two three-pointers and had the Gators within four points with 1:18 to play. But Florida missed a couple clutch free throw attempts in the final minute that would have put them closer.

 

Tight Finals:

·         Each of Florida’s last three games has been decided by 8 points or less (1-2 record).

 

Free Throw Woes:

·         The Gators shot just 18-of-27 from the free throw line for 66.7 percent.

·         Florida has hit 35-of-61 from the free throw line (57.4 percent) in its last two games.

 

Three-Point Struggles:

·         Florida converted 2-of-15 from the three-point arc against Illinois State and is 3-of-24 from long range in the last two games.

 

High Scoring Birds:

·         ISU’s Chloe Nelson, Alexis Foley and Alexis Puni combined to score 61 of the Redbird’s 68 points.

·         The Redbirds connected on 8-of-16 three-pointers against the Gators.

 

Numbers of Note:

·         With her 13th of 25 points, Jaterra Bonds topped the 1,200-career point plateau              

·         Jaterra Bonds started the 90th game of her career

 

Streaks:

·         Florida connected on a three-pointer for the 105th consecutive game

·         Jaterra Bonds started her 77th consecutive game and moved into sole possession of third all-time in program history

·         January Miller scored in her 36th consecutive game, the longest active streak by a Gator

·         Jaterra Bonds record a double-figure scoring effort (25 points) for the 17th consecutive game

 

Updated Records: Florida 4-3 … Illinois State 1-3

 

Quotes from the Court

“Illinois State was clearly just a lot more ready to play than the Gators were today and I have to take responsibility for that. I’m just really, really embarrassed by the way we played in the first half, but then you have to give Illinois State credit for that.” – UF head coach Amanda Butler on reaction to loss

 

“It wasn’t a surprise, just very disappointing when a lot of our game plan was focusing in on three of their players who take a majority of their shots that we continued to give up plays to those players. We must not be doing a good enough job of emphasizing the right things because again, we have another individual who we expected to be their leading scorer, we wanted to give her that type of attention and she has 26 (points) today. We’re just not taking enough pride in our defense.” – UF head coach Amanda Butler on the scoring of Illinois State’s Chloe Nelson

 

“We have to be a whole lot tougher; a whole lot mentally tougher, a whole lot physically tougher and get ready for tomorrow’s challenge.” – Coach Butler on getting ready to play again tomorrow

 

 

Next Game:

Oregon State (4-1) vs. Florida (4-3)

St. Georges High School Gym (1,200)

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island * Sat., Nov. 30, 2013 * 1:45 p.m. ET

* Junkanoo Jam Consolation Game *

 

Game Coverage & More!

Radio: LIVE on WGGG 1230AM in Gainesville with Adam Schick & Brittany Davis

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

Television: none

Internet Video: none

Internet Scoring: none

 

 

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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