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Cassie Peoples scored five straight points in the second round that helped the Gators advance to the QF (Matt Pendleton)

Thursday March 6, 2014Gators Play No. 12/13 Kentucky in SEC Quarterfinal on Friday

Duluth, GA

Cassie Peoples scored five straight points in the second round that helped the Gators advance to the QF (Matt Pendleton)

The Gators advanced to the Southeastern Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinals where they will play fourth-seeded and nationally-ranked Kentucky on Friday at 2:30 p.m., at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga.

 

VIDEO PREVIEW: http://www.gatorvision.tv/mediaPortal/player.dbml?id=3218339&db_oem_id=6500

 

UF’s SEC Tournament Skinny

·         UF earned the No. 5 seed in the 2014 SEC Tournament

·         The Gators received a first-day bye.

·         UF defeated Mississippi State, 71-67, in the second round on Thursday.

 

The Series vs. Kentucky

·         The 49-game series against Kentucky is the seventh-longest in Florida history.

·         Kentucky leads the 49-game series, 25-24, including a 3-2 record in SEC Tournament match ups.

·         The Gators defeated the Wildcats 83-73 in the Jan. 5 meeting this year, snapping UK’s six-game run in the series and completed the regular-season sweep with an 86-80 win on Feb. 9 in Gainesville.

·         Six of the last seven games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less.

 

Fourth Time, Three Times

·         Friday’s meeting against Kentucky will be the third game between the two teams this year, with the Gators winning both.

·         In seven years under Head Coach Amanda Butler, this is the fourth time the Gators will play one opponent three times in the same year.

·         In 2011-12: vs. Kentucky, 0-3

·         In 2010-11: vs. Tennessee, 0-3

·         In 2007-08: vs. South Carolina, UF won series 2-1 (split regular-season games)

 

Florida at the SEC Tournament

·         Florida holds a 19-33 all-time record in the SEC Tournament.

·         Florida has played in the SEC Tournament quarterfinal round each of the last four years, as well as in eight of the last nine tournaments.

·         The Gator’s best finish was reaching the championship game in 1997, the team’s lone appearance in the final.

·         Current UF head coach Amanda Butler was an assistant coach on the 1997 Gator staff that year and current UF assistant coach Murriel Page was the starting forward and earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

 

In the SEC Quarterfinals

·         Florida is just 4-16 all-time in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.

·         The last time the Gators advanced to the semifinals was in 1998, when second-seeded UF had a first round bye, defeated Arkansas in the quarterfinals but lost to third-seeded Alabama in Columbus, Ga.

 

20-Wins 13 Times

·         The Gators are one win shy of the 14th 20-win season in program history.

·         Coach Butler has led the Gators to four 20-win seasons in her six years on the sideline.

·         If the Gators can secure one more win this year, it would be the team’s fourth consecutive 20-win season.

 

Local Flavor

·         Redshirt junior Kayla Lewis is a native of the Peach State and is from Decatur, located just 18 miles from Duluth.

 

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.

 

Thrillers!

·         16 of UF’s games have been decided by 10 points or less (10-6 record in those games).

 

Quoting UF Head Coach Amanda Butler

On playing Kentucky for a third time

·         We're playing Kentucky.  I think at this point, how many times we've played them or what those previous outcomes were just really aren't a factor.  That's one of the things we talked about coming into this tournament, we want to be really, really fresh.

·         “It should be reflected in our energy and our outlook on whoever our opponents are going to be.

·         “We know it will be a great contest.  Again, one of the best teams not just in the league but in the country.  Another fantastic opportunity for us.”

 

Gator Game at a Glance:

#5 Seed Florida (19-11) vs. #4 Seed, #12/13 Kentucky (22-7)

2014 SEC Tournament Quarterfinal

Fri., March 7 * 2:30 p.m. ET

The Arena at Gwinnett Center (10,305) * Duluth, Ga.

 

Game Notes:

Florida: http://bit.ly/1cGH6lZ

Kentucky: http://bit.ly/1g4uObw

 

Official SEC Tournament Website: http://bit.ly/1g1Okp3

 

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: SportsSouth/FS Southwest/Sun Sports; airs in Gainesville on Fox Sports Florida (Cox Ch. 70/1070; DirecTV 654) with Dave Neal & LaChina Robinson

·         Internet Video: ESPN3.com - http://es.pn/1d1UXqb

·         Internet Scoring: LIVE link thru GatorZone.com (FREE) - http://bit.ly/1n077Xb

·         Tickets: Reserved tickets can be purchased by calling (800) 732-4849 or by visiting SECsports.com. Single session tickets went on sale at the arena box office on March 5

 

Opening Tip

·         Friday’s game will be the 50th meeting between Florida & Kentucky

·         Six of the last seven games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less.

·         Seniors Jaterra Bonds & Lily Svete both have played in 134 career games, one shy of the all-time record

·         Florida finished fifth in the SEC regular-season standings, the Gator’s best finish since 2008-09 when the team tied for third.

·         16 of UF’s games have been decided by 10 points or less (10-6 record in those games; 6-4 in SEC games) - including Thursday’s SEC Tournament second round win.

 

On the Line

·         The winner of the 13-game SEC Tournament will receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

 

 

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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