Tuesday December 17, 2013Gators Overwhelm Saint Francis in Record-Setting Win
Kayla Lewis recorded her first double-double of the season, fourth of her career.
Kayla Lewis tallied 19 points and 10 rebounds en route to her first double-double of the season to lead seven double-figure Gators to a 105-71 victory over Saint Francis on Tuesday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Florida’s seven double-digit scorers is the most in program history, tying the seven that notched 10 or more points in the season opener against Bethune-Cookman.
For the seventh time of the season, every Gator that has dressed out has scored. Additionally, Florida’s win marked the second time in program history that the Gators have breached the century mark in consecutive games. In 1994, Florida scored 100+ points in three straight games.
Florida opened the game on an 8-0 run before Saint Francis took a time out with 18:19 left in the first half. Lewis led the early charge with four of Florida’s eight points. The Gators led 27-8 after 10 minutes of play and never looked back en route to a 48-23 advantage at the half, the fewest points by a Gator opponent in a half this season.
The teams traded baskets for much of the second half, with Saint Francis looking much improved from the first half. However, the damage was already done and despite the effort, the Red Flash failed to come within 15 points of the Gators’ lead. Florida outscored Saint Francis 15-7 in the final 3:40 of the game, eventually stretching its lead to a game-high 36 points.
· Lewis led all scorers with 19 points and added 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season and fourth of her career. This marked Lewis’ fourth double-figure scoring game of the season and 20th of her career as well as her fourth double-digit rebounding game of the season and ninth of her career.
· Cassie Peoples sank a career-high seven field goals to score 16 points for her fifth double-digit game of the season and career.
· Christin Mercer notched 15 points off of a season-high seven field goals en route to her second double-digit game of the season and eighth of her career.
· January Miller scored 14 points for her eighth double-figure effort of the season and 16th of her career.
· Carlie Needles recorded a season-high 12 points off of a season-high four treys for her third double-digit game of the season and ninth of her career at UF.
· Ronni Williams also tallied 12 points for her sixth career double-figure game. Williams also scored the 100th point of her career with an inside jumper with 13:57 left in the first half.
· Lily Svete put up 11 points for her fourth double-figure game of the season and 11th of her career. Svete became the 10th Gator to net 100 career three-pointers, hitting the century mark with 4:30 remaining in the game.
· Saint Francis made 43 turnovers, the most Florida has forced since Bethune-Cookman made 42 on Dec. 6, 1995; the second-most by a Gator opponent in program history (50 by Miami, 1/12/80). The Red Flashes’ 25 first half turnovers is the most committed in a single half by a Gator opponent this season.
· Florida scored an astounding 41 points off turnovers, the most they've scored this season. This also marked the sixth time this year that the Gators have scored 20+ points off turnovers.
· Miller dished out a career-high seven assists, aiding in Florida’s season-high 29 baskets-to-be.
· Peoples and Miller each bested their career takeaways, with six and five, respectively. The Gators stole a season-high 24 balls. Williams added a career-high three steals.
· Svete tallied career-bests of six rebounds and four assists, while adding her first two blocks of the season.
· As a team, Florida connected on 50 percent (10-20) of its shots from behind the arc, marking another season-high. The Gators also shot 55.1 percent from the field, good for the second-best effort of the year.
· The 10 three-pointers mark the third time this year the Gators have connected on double-digit treys.
Numbers of Note
· With 4 assists tonight, Bonds is now 9 shy of 375 career assists.
· With 11 points tonight, Svete is now 7 shy of 400 career points.
· Florida out-rebounded Saint Francis 45-38, improving to 4-2 on the season in games where they control the boards.
Gator Starting ‘5’
· The Gators have used four different starting lineups this season. Tonight’s combination was used for just the second time thus far: Bonds, Lewis, Peoples, Svete, Williams
· Senior Jaterra Bonds started her 80th straight game; 93nd of her career
· Junior Kayla Lewis started her 10th straight game; 38th of career
· Sophomore Cassie Peoples started the second game of her career
· Senior Lily Svete started her 25th straight game; 43nd of her career
· Freshman Ronni Williams started the third game of her career
Updated Records: Florida 7-3 … Saint Francis 2-5
Quotes from the Court
Head Coach Amanda Butler
“Really fun game. You’ve got to give Saint Francis credit for their fight. They just tried to play us down to the end, despite the score. I’m really proud of how my team handled that too. There were some moments when we’re losing some composure, but we quickly regrouped. It’s great to see everyone making plays and shooters hitting shots. Kayla (Lewis) had a big night. It was nice to score like that in front of our home fans. That (the points scored) has to make us feel good about where we are at offensively, and it was just a great win to share with the home crowd.”
On returning to action after a long break:
“We really needed to play a game. We’ve had some really good practices and we were starting to get to a point where it was starting to get hard to have really good practices because we had been going so hard. I was very proud of the maturity and the effort that we had during exam week. We go to one of the toughest universities in the country, and for our kids to stay so focused during their exams, being challenged academically the way they are, and still bringing it to practice, I was real proud of that. It was definitely time to play.”
On going against Saint Francis’s Ali Williams:
“Everyone had to go up against Ali at some point. She did everything for them. She’s a really special player. Again, we held her under her average, she still had 18, but she is a unique player and a great challenge for us to have to share that burden. I think that everyone on our team at some point had the chance to match up with her. Really pleased overall with how we guarded her.”
On the defensive effort:
“I think it just adds to it being a fun game. There were a lot of possessions. I think we wore the officials out. They’re back there getting IV’s and stuff because it was just up-and-down and up-and-down. I’m really proud of that. It is just one of those things where the kids can look at the stat sheet after the game and see 43 turnovers. We did that. It just adds to the way you feel about yourself as a unit.”
UF sophomore Christin Mercer
On the steals and blocks:
“I believe defensively we did a great job switching. I feel like our communication in the first half was really good because we kept talking, never stopped and were never quiet.”
On upcoming home games:
“It is always good to play at home and have these fans. We just had a potluck with our back court club. It is great to play hard for those people that support us all year round. It is going to be great (to play the next few games at home). Our families are here. It is holiday season. We’re looking to get a couple more wins and keep it rolling.”
UF junior Kayla Lewis
On improvements in rebounds:
“I think rebounding is an intentional thing. You have to put yourself in position to get rebounds. I know that with the three of us, it is important for me to get in there and get possessions for the team. You have to take pride in that. The team has to box out, undercut and things like that. You have to get crafty, use your hands a little bit and prepare our head to get that rebound. As far as defense goes, we worked all week on defense. We’ve had two weeks of defense. It should show. It showed tonight that we practiced defense.”
On being eager to play:
“We were just so happy. Jan (January Miller) posted a status that said ‘TGIGD,’ thank god it is game day. We were just so excited to play. Nothing else mattered today except for getting this win.”
Saint Francis Head Coach Joe Haigh
Thoughts on the game:
“I’m proud of the way we fought in the second half. The two main things we need to get better at are transition defense, we gave up way too many layups, way too many layups in transition, and we have to pay attention to our scout a little better. In the second half they hit a lot of threes. We would step late and come out with our hands down; they’re great shooters but I am proud with the way we fought. I think we cut it to 14 down there, some stuff happened but we didn’t quit at all. A little frustration, but we played hard. Hopefully, we get better from this point.”
On the second half:
“Well we reminded them in the half… I didn’t feel as though we fought the same way in the first half as we did in the second. That was a little disappointing. We missed 11 layups in the first half – that’s 22 points right there. We figured we gave up on about 45 second chance points and transition points in the first half. Some of those things are controllable if we work a little bit harder on the glass and in transition play. You see the second half score, they scored quite a bit. They got a lot late. But we played them pretty well in the second half.”
Florida (7-3) hosts 23rd Annual Gator Holiday Classic
Stephen C. O’Connell Center (11,373) * Gainesville, Fla.
Fri., December 20
· FIU (3-5) vs. La Salle (3-5) - 4:30 pm
· Tennessee State (3-8) vs. Florida (7-3) - 7 pm
Sat., December 21
· Tennessee State vs. TBA - 4:30 pm
· Florida vs. TBA - 7 p.m.
Game Coverage & More!
· Radio: LIVE on ESPN850 WRUF-AM in Gainesville with Adam Schick & Brittany Davis
· Internet Audio (UF games): LIVE thru www.Gatorzone.com (FREE)
· Television: none
· Internet Video (UF games): LIVE on Gatorvision.tv (subscription)
· Internet Scoring (All Games): LIVE thru GatorZone.com (FREE)
· 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 parking garage
Additional Hoopla for Friday’s Game:
· Gator Holiday Classic: The first 500 fans receive Gator Holiday Classic T-Shirts
· High School Days: High school coaches and players are invited to attend the Gator Holiday Classic for free. Coaches, players and one family member will be sent letters of compliance forms if they’d like to participate.
· Toys for Tots: Donate a toy to the Toys for Tots Program and receive free admission to both games today. Help a child in need this Holiday season!
· Winter Wonderland: Celebrate the holiday season with the Gators and take your photo with Alberta in Winter Wonderland.
For all of the latest information on Florida women’s basketball:
Official Website: www.gatorzone.com/basketball/women
Twitter: @GatorZoneWBK and @CoachButlerUF