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Kayla Lewis scored a team-high 14 points with six rebounds and four steals (photo Matt Pendleton)

Thursday January 23, 2014Four Score in Double Figures but Gators Fall at No. 11/12 Tennessee

Knoxville, TN

Kayla Lewis scored a team-high 14 points with six rebounds and four steals (photo Matt Pendleton)

Four different Florida players scored in double-figures, but No. 11/12 Tennessee had five reach double-digits and emerged with an 89-69 decision in front of 10,541 fans that included former Lady Vols head coach Pat Summitt at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Thursday.

 

The Gators whittled a 53-34 deficit down to eight points, 56-48, thanks to a 14-3 run over a 3:09 span. Ronni Williams started the run and had six during the spurt, while Antoinette Bannister chipped in four points, Lily Svete knocked down a three-pointer and Jaterra Bonds added one from the free throw line.

 

Tennessee, however, countered with a 21-11 march and never looked back en route to its 10th straight win in the series.

 

Kayla Lewis led Florida with 14 points in addition to six rebounds and four steals, while freshman Ronni Williams scored 12 points and collected a team-high tying seven rebounds.

 

Jaterra Bonds scored 10 points, collected seven rebounds and dished a team-leading five assists and Antoinette Bannister netted 10 points for the second double-figure scoring game of her career.

 

Tennessee entered the game leading the Southeastern Conference and ranked third in the nation in rebounding margin, enjoying a +13.9 effort. Despite being undersized, Florida lost the rebounding battle, 38-37, however seemed to collect one during the most crucial times during the game.

 

Florida shot 43.3 percent (26-60) during the game, while UT converted 50.8 percent (33-65), including 10-of-21 from the three-point arc.

 

It was a similar effort in the first half, when the Gators cut a 12-point deficit to six points (25-19) with 8:06 remaining in the opening frame before Tennessee used a 13-4 run over a 5:01 span to take a 38-23 lead en route to a 40-27 lead at the break.

 

Tennessee’s Meighan Simmons led all scorers with 21 points, knocking down 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.

 

 

Quotes from the Court

UF head coach Amanda Butler’s opening comments:

“There were parts of the game where we just didn’t play well. That may be over-simplifying it, but there were times when we had two bad shots or took a shot that we didn’t believe in. We didn’t have a ton of turnovers but we had them at crucial times. It’s going to take all eight of us to play, especially on the road against an SEC opponent to come out with a win. We didn’t have the best of all eight tonight.”

 

Butler on the Gator’s losing the rebounding battle by just one:

“I guess we can take some consolation in that. Part of what we wanted to do was to try and neutralize the rebounding effects that they certainly can have on you. The rebounds that we gave up seemed to be so timely; when we were fighting all the way back to single digits and then just give up big plays in the paint we really difficult. It was a great learning game for Ronni (Williams). There were some good things for her and things she knows she needs to do better. You can certainly see her do things that we’re going to need her to do. It’s going to have to be a little more and little better of things from everyone. It’s a simple as that.”

 

Butler on defending the three-point arc (UT was 10-21):

“They had some players step up who typically don’t hit those. That’s always subject to happen when you play such a talented team. Meighan Simmons hitting five, that’s not a surprise. We didn’t do a very good job. We had to play them in zone and we didn’t do a good job with a level of awareness. She gets it off real quick and is going to make you pay if she gets a good look.”

 

Butler on the play of sophomore Antoinette “Bre” Bannister:

“I thought Bre was a tremendous factor for us today. She gave us great energy. I know she’s frustrated with her threes not falling, but she didn’t let that effect other parts of her game. That’s what’s so important. We’ve got great three-point shooting potential but we’ve yet to realize it. We’ve got to feel that in our shot selection and we can’t be deterred to the point that other parts of our game are going to suffer if we’re not going to see those three balls fall.”

 

Numbers of Note

·         Jaterra Bonds scored in double-figures for the 16th time this year; 72nd time in her career; eighth straight game.

·         Bonds ended the game with 1,398 career points that tied her for No. 13 on UF’s all-time chart with Rhvonjia Smith, 1987-91.

·         Kayla Lewis scored in double-figures for the seventh time this year; 23rd time in her career

·         Freshman Ronni Williams scored in double-figures for the eighth time in her career.

·         Sophomore Antoinette Bannister scored in double-figures for the second time this year and in her career.

·         The 20-point loss was UF’s largest of the season (was 14 at LSU, Jan. 12)

·         This was the 50th game in the UF-UT series.

 

Streaks

·         Kayla Lewis extended her made free throw streak to 12, tying her season and career-best run

·         Jaterra Bonds scored in double-figures for the eighth straight game.

·         January Miller did not score for the first time this season and had her streak of 47 straight scoring games halted.

·         Florida hit a three-pointer in its 117th consecutive game.

·         This was the Gator’s third consecutive loss.

 

At the Half

·         Gators trailed at halftime (40-27) for seventh time this year

·         Sixth time this year UF didn’t net at least one three-pointer in the first half

·         UF attempted six free throws in the first half; entered the game averaging 9.9 attempts

·         Kayla Lewis scored a team-high 10 points in the first half with a team-best four rebounds; also had a first-half high four steals

 

New Starting Five

·         Gators used new starting five of: Jaterra Bonds, January Miller, Kayla Lewis, Cassie Peoples and Ronni Williams

·         Sixth different starting lineup this year

·         Lily Svete comes off bench for first time this year; snaps streak of 33 straight starts

·         Williams starts fourth career game; first since Dec. 17 vs. Saint Francis

·         Bonds starts 89th straight game; 102nd overall

·         Lewis starts 19th straight game

 

 

Next Gator Game:

Auburn (11-7, 2-3 SEC*) at Florida (13-6, 3-3 SEC)

Stephen C. O’Connell Center (11,373) * Gainesville, Fla.

Sun., January 26 * 3 p.m. ET

 

*Auburn played at LSU on Thursday night

 

Game Coverage & More!

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

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

·         Television: ESPNU (Cox 251 in Gainesville; DirecTV 208) with Melissa Lee and Maria Taylor

·         Internet Video: ESPN3

·         Internet Scoring: 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

 

Additional Hoopla for the Game (Presenting sponsor: UF Health and Magic 101.3)

·         Family 4 Pack Sunday: Receive four general admission tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for only $20.

·         Campus Challenge: Elite 8: Campus Challenge is back for the 2014 conference season. Students of participating residence halls will have a chance to win great prizes throughout the tournament. Today’s quarterfinal matchup is: Hume and Graham vs. Lakeside and Springs. Students will be entered to win Publix and Best Buy gift cards and the residence hall(s) with the highest attendance will advance to the final four.

·         Fleece Blanket Giveaway: The first 500 fans receive a “It’s Great to be a Florida Gator” fleece blanket.

·         Champions of Character: Elementary and middle schools in Alachua, Marion, Columbia, Bradford and Putnam counties are invited to pariticipate in Champions of Character. Students and faculty/staff will receive a free ticket and each school is encouraged to select 10 students who display outstanding character in the classroom to be honored at halftime. Guests of students will receive $1 general admission tickets. To participate, e-mail Nolan Gauvreau (NolanG@Gators.ufl.edu). Another Champions of Character game is designated on 3/2/14 against Texas A&M.

·         UMMP Day: University Minority Mentor Program (UMMP) members are invited to the game and will receive free admission. Enter through Gate 1 and enjoy a pre-game social sponsored by Moe’s on the O’Connell Center practice court.

·         Post-Game Autographs: Following today’s game, the team will sign autographs on the track between Gates 3 and 4.

·         High Five Tunnel: Kids 12 and under are invited to high five team as they run out of the tunnel prior to tip off

·         Pack The Dome: Come help the Gators Pack The Dome the weekend of 1/24-1/26! 4 events, 3 days, 25,000 in the Dome!

 

 

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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