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Donate a toy to the Toys for Tots Program and receive free admission to both games.

Thursday December 19, 2013Women's Hoops to Host 23rd Annual Gator Holiday Classic, Dec. 20-21

Gainesville, Fla.

Donate a toy to the Toys for Tots Program and receive free admission to both games.



Florida plays host to the 23rd Annual Gator Holiday Classic on December 20 and 21, welcoming FIU, La Salle and Tennessee State to the O’Connell Center for the two-day event.

 

FIU and La Salle meet at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, before Florida plays Tennessee State at 7 p.m.

 

VIDEOS:

·         UF head coach Amanda Butler: http://youtu.be/9sylfVpnQNo

·         Cassie Peoples and Lily Svete: http://youtu.be/EbwfmDC-8DQ

 

There are several enticing promotions for fans planning to attend Friday’s games:

·         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. 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.

 

Gator Classic History

·         Florida’s annual home tournament has traditionally featured some of the nation’s finest teams and players.

·         At least one team from the four-team field has earned an NCAA Tournament berth in 15 of the 22 years, including the 1994 field that featured all four future NCAA selections.

·         A total of 33 alumnae competing in UF’s Gator Classic have gone on to play professional basketball in the WNBA.

·         Florida has won 18 of the previous 22 Gator Classic titles (the 2005 event featured only three teams and played a round-robin style tournament so no champion was declared) and has advanced to the championship game every year.

 

The Series vs. GHC Teams

·         Florida is 3-0 against Tennessee State, with the last meeting a 100-54 decision on Dec. 28, 2000, in the Gator Classic.

·         The Gators are 5-2 all-time against FIU, including last year’s 75-68 thriller in Miami in the first round of the postseason WNIT.

·         Florida holds a 3-0 record versus La Salle, most recently earning a 74-50 victory in Philadelphia on Dec. 16, 2012.

 

Quick Scout - Tennessee State

·         The Lady Tigers are making their third appearance in the Gator Classic, also competing in the inaugural event in 1990 and in 2000.

·         Florida will be the third different team from the SEC the Lady Tigers are facing this season, having lost to Ole Miss (77-61) and Tennessee (94-43).

·         Other similar opponents with the Gators include Kennesaw State (L, 70-68), Troy (W, 77-71) and North Florida (W, 67-51)

·         The Lady Tigers have won two of their last three games entering the GHC, with the lone loss coming in Knoxville to No. 3 Tennessee on Dec. 17.

 

Quick Scout - FIU

·         The Panthers are competing in the Gator Holiday Classic for the first time.

·         The Gators and Panthers met last in Miami in the first round of the Postseason WNIT that UF won, 75-68.

·         Senior Jerica Coley entered the week as the nation’s fifth-highest scorer, netting 25.9 points per game. Coley tagged Florida for 37 points last year when she finished as the No. 1-ranked scorer.

 

Quick Scout - La Salle

·         The Explorers are making their first appearance in the Gator Classic.

·         La Salle leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring defense, allowing just 63.9 points per game.

·         A trio of Explorers average a double-figure scoring effort, paced by freshman Micahya Owen’s 13.3 points per game.

·         A meeting against La Salle would be the third straight year the Gators and Explorers will have played.

 

Last TimeOut

·         Kayla Lewis scored a game-high 19 points and was one of a program-record-tying seven Gators who scored in double-figures in the 105-71 victory against Saint Francis on Dec. 17

·         Lewis also posted her first double-double of the year (with 10 rebounds); fourth of her career.

·         Florida topped the 100-point plateau for the second consecutive game - the second time in program history the team has charted consecutive 100-point games.

 

Who’s Hot?

In the last three games, January Miller is averaging 18.3 points and 6.0 rebounds, while hitting 41.3 percent of her shots from the floor, 38.5 percent (5-13) from the three-point arc and 80.0 percent (12-15) from the free throw line.

 

Quick Shots

·         In the last three games, Cassie Peoples is averaging 14.3 points, 5.7 assists and 3.0 steals per game.

·         In the last four games, Lily Svete is shooting 46.7 percent (7-15) from the three-point arc.

·         Carlie Needles has knocked down seven of her 12 three-pointers this year in the last two games.

·         Kayla Lewis is averaging 11.0 points and 12.3 rebounds in the last three games.

 

Bonds, Jaterra Bonds

Senior Jaterra Bonds is doing it all with 16.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.6 steals, while hitting 58-of-70 (82.9%) free throws.

 

Rookie Review

Freshman Ronni Williams is averaging 10.8 points on 47.9 percent shooting, along with an impressive 7.3 rebounds per game. She logged the second double-double of her young career with 14 points and 12 rebounds against Florida State on Nov. 21.

 

Non-SEC Home Game Success

The Gators boast an impressive 52-6 home record against non-conference teams under head coach Amanda Butler, including a 4-1 record this season.

 

Quotes from the Court

“It’s always a fun tournament, something we look forward to every year. We’ve been hosting it forever and ever. I think that our fans love it, I know our players do. It’s a unique opportunity to be able to compete for a championship on your home court. Although it’s obviously not an end-of-the-year championship, it’s still fun. It’s fun to have a chance to play for the big trophy and be able to say we were the best in the field and be able to do that in front of the great fans that we have is all together a good thing.” – UF head coach Amanda Butler on the 23rd Annual Gator Holiday Classic

 

“We knew we were going to be playing against teams that have a high output offensively. Both teams (Troy and Saint Francis) continued to press for most of the ball game so we continued to respond to being pressed and it generated a lot of possessions. It was especially fun at the end of the Saint Francis game to see Lily (Svete) and Carlie (Needles) hit all those threes. Lily’s three was the one that put us over the 100-point mark. It was a great game for it to happen at home. It makes us offensively confident about what we’re capable of doing in a 40-minute span.” – Butler on the recent scoring outburst

 

“Cassie is someone who really, really relishes the role of being a point guard. That’s where she wants to be on the floor and it’s an important quality that your floor general has to have. They have to want to be there if they are going to have a chance to doing it really well because it’s a tough job. She’s learning and taking advantage of the opportunities she has. She’s figuring out how to make her plays and it’s hard sometimes for me because I forget that she’s really a freshman even though she’s been in college for a few years and was here last year, she’s really experiencing her first full year of basketball. For her to have the chance to grow, especially in a tough role, is important.” – Butler on what Cassie Peoples has brought to the court recently

 

“I like the way we’ve taken advantage of our opportunities, responded to being pressed by scoring more points and really attacking and not slowing down or making ourselves trappable. I’d like to be able to play at the speed we’ve played at the last several games with a few less turnovers. We still have had some foul situations. I would like to see a high level of consistency.” – Butler on what she has liked about the team’s recent play

 

 

Stat Row

Florida

Points Per Game: 80.9

Scoring Defense: 70.2

Scoring Margin: +10.7

Rebounding Margin: -0.2

FG%: 43.6%

3FG%: 32.5%

FT%: 69.1%

Gator Leaders

Scoring: Jaterra Bonds, 16.5

Rebounding: Kayla Lewis, 8.3

Assists: Jaterra Bonds, 4.4

 

Tennessee State

Points Per Game: 66.2

Scoring Defense: 74.5

Scoring Margin: -8.3

Rebounding Margin: -8.2

FG%: 35.0%

3FG%: 23.9%

FT%: 62.5%

Lady Tiger Leaders

Scoring: Chelsea Hudson, 19.0

Rebounding: Chelsea Hudson, 7.6

Assists: Rachel Allen, 3.5

 

FIU

Points Per Game: 64.4

Scoring Defense: 66.4

Scoring Margin: -2.0

Rebounding Margin: +4.4

FG%: 38.8%

3FG%: 31.6%

FT%: 78.9%

Panther Leaders

Scoring: Jerica Coley, 25.8

Rebounding: Brianna Wright, 7.5

Assists: Jerica Coley, 4.9

 

La Salle

Points Per Game: 60.0

Scoring Defense: 63.9

Scoring Margin: -3.9

Rebounding Margin: +3.4

FG%: 35.7%

3FG%: 27.3%

FT%: 63.2%

Explorer Leaders

Scoring: Micahya Owens, 13.3

Rebounding: Leeza Burdgess, 6.5

Assists: Khristin Lee, 3.7

 

 

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 pm

 

Sat., December 21

Tennessee State vs. TBA - 4:30 pm

Florida vs. TBA - 7 p.m.

 

Game Notes:

·         Florida (PDF): http://www.gatorzone.com/basketball/women/stats/notes/pre/20131220190000.pdf

·         Tennessee State: http://www.tsutigers.com/downloads2/838410.pdf?SPSID=92745&SPID=11281&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=19600

·         FIU: http://www.fiusports.com/Sports/WomensSports/WBasketball.aspx

·         La Salle: http://www.goexplorers.com/index.aspx?path=wbball&tab=basketball2

 

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)

·         FIU vs. La Salle: http://www.cstv.com/gametracker/launch/?event=1324129&school=fla&sport=wbaskbl

·         Tennessee State vs. Florida: http://gatorzone.cstv.com/gametracker/launch/?event=1313893&school=fla&sport=wbaskbl

 

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

 

Opening Tip

·         Florida hosts the 23rd Annual Gator Holiday Classic

·         UF has won its home tournament 18 times

·         In 7 of UF’s 10 games, every Gator who suited up to play, scored

·         Gators in the midst of a five-game homestand

 

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. 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

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FloridaWomensBasketball

Twitter: @GatorZoneWBK  and  @CoachButlerUF 

 

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