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The Gators earned a big win in their final regular-season road game.

Thursday February 27, 2014Gators Earn Big Road Win at Vanderbilt on Thursday

Nashville, TN

The Gators earned a big win in their final regular-season road game.

Senior Jaterra Bonds scored 18 points and tied a career-high nine assists and Florida earned a crucial 73-68 victory against Vanderbilt at Memorial Gym on Thursday evening.

 

The Gators led by as many as 17 points early, but Vanderbilt used its prowess from the three-point arc and the free throw line to cut its deficit to three points four times in the second half and as late as with 44.9 seconds and seven seconds remaining.

 

Florida stepped up at the free throw line itself and knocked down big field goals to maintain its lead for all except the first 1:12 of the game.

 

In the final 61 seconds of the game, the Gators converted 9-of-12 from the line, with Carlie Needles coolly icing the game with 4.8 seconds remaining as she hit a pair and gave Florida its final margin of victory.

 

Cassie Peoples scored all of her seven points in the final 3:57 of the game, first getting on the board with a three-pointer at the 3:57 mark after Vanderbilt was within three points. She then knocked down a 15-footer with 1:45 to and the Commodores within five. Her final points game from the line with 41.9 seconds remaining and again Vanderbilt within three points.

 

Ronni Williams finished with 11 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots, while Kayla Lewis and January Miller both scored 10 points in the win.

 

All eight Gators who played, scored, as Needles finished with seven points, Lily Svete with six points and five rebounds and Antoinette Bannister added five points.

 

Bonds scored the first bucket of the second half, but Vanderbilt answered with an 11-1 run and closed within five points with 13:40 to go.

 

Bonds stepped up and hit two free throws, but the Commodores took advantage of UF’s leading rebounder, also the SEC’s second-leading board getter, Kayla Lewis on the bench after picking up her fourth personal 30 seconds into the final frame.

 

The Gators struggled with their shot during the opening 10:07, when Vanderbilt cut UF’s lead to four points, 47-43, and the Gators managed to hit only 1-of-13 from the floor.

 

January Miller’s three-pointer from the top of the arc final ended the dry spell and Bonds followed with a pair of free throws and helped build the lead back to nine points, 52-43

 

Big runs characterized the first 20 minutes of play, as the Gators raced out to a 23-6 lead over the first 10:16 of play, thanks to runs of 10-0 and 11-0.

 

Vanderbilt charged back thanks to the long ball and used an 8-0 run to get within five points, 32-27, with 4:05 left in the half.

 

The Gators responded with a 10-0 march as four different players scored during the spur led by Miller’s four points and took a 42-27 lead with 1:44 remaining in the period.

 

The Commodores scored the final three points to close the half with the Gators taking a 42-30 lead into the locker room.

 

Updated Records: Florida 18-10, 8-7 SEC … Vanderbilt 18-9, 7-8 SEC

 

Top Commodores: Christina Foggie scored a game-high 24 points (5-10 3PT) and Kylee Smith added 15 points (7-8 FT)

 

Quoting UF Head Coach Amanda Butler

“I have so much respect for Vanderbilt and Melanie (Balcomb). This was just a huge win at this time of the season. A huge win. To be able to win any game on the road in the SEC is a monumental task. I’m just really, really proud of our team rising to the occasion – the team natural in which we were able to win this today. There was balanced scoring, same amount of assists as turnovers and we had a lot of composure down the stretch. We showed a lot of toughness.”

 

“We wanted to start fast. Of course there’s always a little more extra energy in the air when you’re honoring players like Lister and Foggie and we knew that emotion could be a factor so we wanted to make sure we started fast. We didn’t let them be the ones that set the tone. That was really, really important to us.”

 

“Our league is just so dagum good. There has been such incredible play, every night. A lot of people from the outside view different wins as upsets and the fact of the matter is that everyone is just really, really good. We’re a league that easily has eight, nine postseason teams, NCAA teams. That’s the strength of our league this year. It’s very unique. There’s not another league in the country that has what we have.”

 

 

Updated Series at a Glance

·         Vanderbilt leads the 52-game series, 32-20

·         This is the fourth-longest series history for the Gators.

·         Vanderbilt had won nine of the last 10 meetings in the series vs. UF, including the last two prior to tonight’s Gator win.

·         Two of the last five games went to overtime, with Vandy winning both.

·         Five of the last seven games have been decided by eight points or less – all seven have been decided by 11 points or less.

·         Prior to tonight, UF’s last win against the Commodores was a 74-69 victory in Nashville on Feb. 25, 2011.

 

Doubling Up

·         Jaterra Bonds scored in double-figures for the 23rd time this year and 79th in career

·         Freshman Ronni Williams scored in double-figures for the 13th time this year

·         Kayla Lewis scored in double-figures for the 16th time this year and 32nd in career

·         January Miller scored in double-figures for the 16th time this year and 24th in career

 

TREY-riffic

·         Carlie Needles’ three-pointer with 8:23 remaining in the first half was the 100th career trey; became 12th Gator with as many in a career, joining current teammates Jaterra Bonds and Lily Svete

 

Games Played

·         Seniors Jaterra Bonds & Lily Svete played in the 132nd game of their respective careers, tied with each other for No. 2 in UF history (No. 1 is 135 by Jennifer George, 2009-13)

 

Starting Again

·         Jaterra Bonds started the 111th game of her career, tying Murriel Page (1994-98) for the fifth-most in UF history (No. 4 is 115 by Talatha Bingham, 1996-99)

 

Starting Again and Again and Again

·         Jaterra Bonds started her 98th consecutive game, the third longest streak in program history (No. 2 is 109 by Murriel Page, 1994-98)

 

Streaks and Stuff

·         Cassie Peoples dished her 100th assist of the season

·         Carlie Needles was credited with her first blocked shot of the season; second of career

·         Jaterra Bonds scored in her 53rd consecutive game, the longest active streak on the team

·         The Gators connected on a three-pointer for the 126th consecutive game

 

Bonds in the Record Book

·         With her five free throw attempts, Jaterra Bonds has attempted a new school record 183 from the line, passing the mark she set last year of 181 in 37 games

 

Scores of other SEC Games on Thursday:

AUBURN d. Alabama, 70-65 2OT

SOUTH CAROLINA d. Georgia, 67-56

Kentucky d. MISSISSIPPI STATE, 81-74 OT

MISSOURI d. Ole Miss, 75-72

TEXAS A&M d. Arkansas, 77-54

Tennessee d. LSU, 72-67

 

 

Next Gator Game:

#17/16 Texas A&M (22-6, 12-2 SEC) at Florida (18-10, 8-7 SEC)

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

Sun., March 2 * 1 p.m. ET

 

Game Coverage & More!

·         Radio: LIVE on WGGG AM1230 in Gainesville with Adam Schick & Brittany Davis

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

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

·         Streaming Video: ESPN3.com

·         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: Verizon

·         Family 4 Pack Sunday - 4 general admission tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 sodas for just $20

·         Spirit Day - Pre-game clinic on practice court with Dazzlers and UF Cheer

·         Champions of Character - Students from area elementary and middle schools are invited to attend game for free (must present voucher at Gate 1); Parents may purchase tickets for $1 Champions of Character rate online or day-off at O’Connell Center ticket windows

·         High Five Tunnel - Kids 12 and under can high five the team as they enter the court

·         Giveaway1 - First 500 fans receive senior cards of #31 Lily Svete and #10 Jaterra Bonds

·         Giveaway2 - First 500 fans receive orange performance socks

·         Halftime Show - BoingVert Dunk Society

·         Post-game—Senior Day - Senior Day ceremony honoring Lily Svete and Jaterra Bonds

 

 

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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