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The Gators face their first ranked team.

Saturday January 4, 2014Gators to Challenge No. 6 Kentucky on Sunday in Lexington

Lexington, KY

The Gators face their first ranked team.

Florida closed out its five-game homestand with a perfect 5-0 record that included an 82-72 win against Mississippi State in its Southeastern Conference opener and now faces nationally-ranked Kentucky on its home court Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

 

The game will be televised live on CSS/CoxSports Comcast Sports Southeast; Cox Sports airs on Ch. 259/1259 on Cox Communications in Gainesville. Fans also can watch the game online via ESPN3.com.

 

 

Gator Watch

·         Four Gators average a double-figure scoring effort: Jaterra Bonds (16.8 ppg), January Miller (12.2 ppg), Christin Mercer (11.8 ppg) and Cassie Peoples (11.7 ppg).

·         Kayla Lewis has been the top Gator on the boards, pulling down 8.1 per game, followed by Ronni Williams’ 6.6 per game mark and Mercer’s 6.5 effort.

·         Bonds is dishing 4.6 assists per game, with Peoples handing out 3.6.

·         Four different Gators have recorded at least 20 steals en route to the team’s 11.5 per game average, with Miller collecting 27, Bonds 26, Peoples 24 and Mercer 20.

·         Bonds, Lewis and Lily Svete have started every game this year.

·         Bonds, Lewis, Miller, Peoples, and Williams have scored in every game.

 

On the Road Again

·         The Gators enjoyed a perfect 5-0 record during their recent five-game homestand.

·         Sunday’s game in Lexington will be Florida’s first road game since Dec. 4 at Troy

·         UF is 2-1 in true road games this year, earning victories at Kennesaw State (Nov. 17) and Troy (Dec. 4), while falling at Virginia Tech (Nov. 14).

 

Gators vs. Ranked Teams

·         No. 6 Kentucky is the first ranked team the Gators are playing this season

·         UF has lost nine consecutive games to ranked opponents

·         The Gators were 0-8 last year versus ranked teams (at the time of tip-off).

·         Florida’s last win over a ranked team was on March 17, 2012, when the unranked Gators upset No. 16/18 Ohio State, 70-65, in the first round of the NCAA Championship.

 

Florida vs. Top-6 Ranked Teams

·         Kentucky is ranked No. 6 in both national polls this week

·         The Gators are 3-8 all-time versus teams ranked No. 6.

·         UF’s last win against a team ranked No. 6 was on Jan. 24, 2002, when the No. 18 Gators downed No. 6 Vanderbilt, 62-51, in Nashville.

·         Florida is 5-60 all-time against top-5-ranked teams

·         The Gators last win against a top-5 team was back on Feb. 26, 2006, when the Gators stunned then-No. 5 Tennessee, 95-93 in overtime, in KNOXVILLE on senior day.

 

Streaking Into the SEC

·         Florida boasts a seven-game winning streak entering Sunday’s game.

·         The last time Florida won seven consecutive games was during the 2008-09 season and it took place early in its SEC schedule.

 

The Series vs. Kentucky

·         Kentucky leads the 47-game series, 25-22, including a 13-8 record in games played in Lexington.

·         The Wildcats have won the last six meetings between the two teams.

·         Each of the last five games have been decided by seven points or less.

·         Florida’s last win in the series was a 74-59 victory on Jan. 29, 2009 in Gainesville.

·         The Gators last win in Lexington was a 68-61 finale back on Feb. 5, 2006.

 

Quick Scout - Kentucky

·         The Wildcats feature the nation’s third-most potent offense, averaging 93.8 points per game.

·         Six different Wildcats average a double-figure scoring effort, paced by senior transfer DeNesha Stallworth’s 14.2 points per game. Stallworth played in the first nine games including the four-overtime win against Baylor on Dec. 6. She then underwent left knee surgery (Dec. 18) for loose cartilage. She has missed UK’s last five games and her return to the court has not been announced.

·         Junior Jennifer O’Neill has come off the bench in every game and has been the team’s second-leading scorer, as well as top assister.

·         Senior transfer Samarie Walker is the team’s top rebounder at 9.6 boards per game, while adding 10.4 points.

 

Kentucky Team Ties

·         Kentucky assistant coach Danielle Santos, who is in her second year on the Wildcats sidelines, was a four-year letterwinner for the Gators from 2002-06, when she started 76 of the 107 games she played. Santos, a 5-foot-10 guard from Marietta, Ga., compiled 831 points, 395 rebounds and 265 assists during her Gator career.

·         Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell was an assistant coach at Florida for three years (2000-03), serving under former head coaches Carol Ross and Carolyn Peck. The Gators were 51-36 during his three-year stay in Gainesville, where he met his future wife Jenna.

 

Breaking Down UF’s Seven-Game Streak

·         During the seven-game winning streak, UF is averaging 86.7 points per game and winning by a margin of 17.9 points per game.

·         5 different Gators have been the team’s leading game scorer in the six games: Bonds, Mercer, Lewis, Peoples and Miller

·         4 Gators are averaging a double-figure scoring effort, paced by Cassie Peoples’ 16.6 ppg. Peoples has also contributed during the run 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

·         Kayla Lewis averages 9.6 points and 9.6 rebounds, while shooting 60.5 percent from the floor

·         The Gators average 27.1 free throw attempts per game, while limiting opponents to 18.6 tries per game

 

SEC Breakdown

·         The SEC schedule for women’s basketball is a single round robin with one permanent opponent and two random opponents resulting in a 16-game slate.  The permanent opponents are: Alabama – Auburn; Arkansas – Missouri; Florida – Georgia; Kentucky – South Carolina; LSU – Texas A&M; Ole Miss – Mississippi State; and Tennessee – Vanderbilt. The random opponents will change annually.

·         In addition to Georgia, Florida will play Arkansas and Kentucky in a home-and-home series during the 2013-14 season.

 

Last TimeOut

·         Behind an impressive 23-point effort from Cassie Peoples and three other double-figure-scoring Gators, Florida opened SEC play with an 82-72 victory over Mississippi State on Thursday night at the O’Connell Center.

·         Jaterra Bonds scored 18 points, Christin Mercer added 12 and January Miller notched her first career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 10 boards.

 

Quick Shots

·         Kayla Lewis has logged a double-figure REBOUNDING effort in 5 of the last 7 games and is averaging 9.6 points and 9.6 rebounds during the last seven games.

·         Cassie Peoples has scored double-figures in the last seven games - the longest active streak by a Gator - and is averaging 16.6 points during that span.

·         In the last seven games, Carlie Needles has knocked down 10 of her 15 three-pointers this year, sinking 37.0 percent (10-27) of her tries during the run. In the first seven games, she went 5-30 (16.7%) from deep.

 

Peoples Relishes Starting Assignment

·         Since Cassie Peoples was inserted into the starting lineup on Dec. 4 at Troy, the sophomore is averaging a team-leading 17.7 points, while connecting on 44.7 percent overall from the floor, including 35.7 percent (10-28) from the three-point arc during the six-game span.

 

Thrillers!

·         Six of UF’s last 10 games have been decided by 10 points or less (4-2 record in those games).

 

Stat Row:

Florida

·         Points Per Game: 81.0

·         Scoring Defense: 69.2

·         Scoring Margin: +11.8

·         Rebounding Margin: -1.1

·         FG%: 45.0%

·         3FG%: 31.2%

·         FT%: 68.7%

Gator Leaders

·         Scoring: Jaterra Bonds, 16.8

·         Rebounding: Kayla Lewis, 8.1

·         Assists: Jaterra Bonds, 4.6

 

Kentucky

·         Points Per Game: 93.8

·         Scoring Defense: 67.2

·         Scoring Margin: +26.6

·         Rebounding Margin: +9.2

·         FG%: 46.4%

·         3FG%: 36.3%

·         FT%: 67.7%

Wildcat Leaders

·         Scoring: DeNesha Stallworth, 14.2

·         Rebounding: Samarie Walker, 9.6

·         Assists: Jennifer O’Neill, 3.8

 

Quotes from the Court:

“Kentucky is very good again. They have very dynamic scorers and score a lot of points doing the things they’ve been doing well the last few years - pressing, forcing turnovers and creating offense for themselves off the turnovers they’ve forced.” – UF head coach Amanda Butler on Kentucky

 

“They’ve been good ballgames for both of our fans and for the fans of the SEC. We’ve come up short and it’s been very disappointing to play hard and get close but not be able to close it out.” – Butler on the recent tight games in the series

 

 

Florida (11-3, 1-0 SEC) at #6 Kentucky (13-1, 1-0 SEC)

Memorial Coliseum (8,000) * Lexington, Ky.

Sun., January 5 * 3 p.m. ET

 

Game Notes:

Florida (PDF): http://www.gatorzone.com/basketball/women/stats/notes/pre/20140105150000.pdf

Kentucky: http://www.ukathletics.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/010314aaa.html

 

Game Coverage & More!

·         Radio: LIVE on ESPN850 WRUF-AM in Gainesville with Adam Schick & Brittany Davis

·         Internet Audio: LIVE thru www.Gatorzone.com (FREE) (http://www.wruf.com/listen-live/)

·         Television: CSS/CoxSports Comcast Sports Southeast; Cox Sports airs on Ch. 259/1259 on Cox Communications in Gainesville with Matt Stewart and Joe Ciampi

·         Internet Video: ESPN3.com (http://es.pn/WBK-UFvsUK)

·         Internet Scoring: LIVE thru GatorZone.com (FREE) (http://gatorzone.cstv.com/gametracker/launch/?event=1291356&school=fla&sport=wbaskbl)

 

Opening Tip

·         Kentucky is the first team ranked at the time of tipoff UF is playing this season

·         The Wildcats have won the last six meetings between the two teams

·         Each of the last five games in the series has been decided by seven points or less

·         Gators are playing their first road game since Dec. 4 at Troy

·         UF sports its first seven-game win streak since the 2008-09 season

·         In 9 of UF’s 14 games, every Gator who suited up to play, scored

·         UF’s Jaterra Bonds is the reigning SEC Player of the Week

 

 

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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