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Junior Kayla Lewis scored 20 points with nine rebounds for the Gators.

Tuesday March 25, 2014Gators Close 2014 Campaign at Penn State in NCAA Second Round

University Park, PA

Junior Kayla Lewis scored 20 points with nine rebounds for the Gators.

The University of Florida women’s basketball team closed its 2013-14 campaign Tuesday evening after falling short, 83-61, to a feisty Penn State squad on its home court in a battle for a trip to the Sweet 16.

 

Gator junior Kayla Lewis put forth 20 points and was just one rebound shy of a double-double in UF’s efforts, but the Orange and Blue couldn’t stave off a potent Lady Lions’ scoring attack. Florida wrapped up another great season with a 20-13 overall record, including a trip to its ninth NCAA Second Round appearance.

 

·         POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE – VIDEO (UF head coach Amanda Butler, Kayla Lewis & Carlie Needles

·         FACEBOOK PHOTO GALLERY

 

Senior Jaterra Bonds (14) and sophomore Carlie Needles (13) joined Lewis in double digits, as Bonds and fellow senior Lily Svete capped off impressive careers donning the Orange and Blue, including four-straight 20-win seasons, two trips to the NCAA Tournament and a trip to the WNIT semifinals in 2013. Bonds eclipsed career point No. 1,600 in her final game as a Gator Tuesday, finishing with 1,602 career points, seventh most in Florida history.

 

After winning the tip off in the NCAA Second Round match up, the Gators marched down and scored the first two points of the game on a layup by Lewis, but the Lady Lions proceeded to hit a 20-5 run and hold a 20-7 advantage at the 10:58 mark mid-way through the first half. Florida battled, putting together a mini 15-8 run of its own to narrow the Penn State margin to six, 28-22, after a Needles four-point play at the 6:33 mark. Both squads exchanged possessions and points as Florida kept the deficit at six with 3:42 to go, but the Lady Lions extended it to an 11-point halftime advantage. Penn State used a 9-4 run powered by six free throws and a Dara Taylor three to head to the locker room up, 43-32, at the half.

 

The Lady Lions’ 17 points off turnovers were huge in the first half, as Penn State made Florida pay for 11 turnovers, while the Gators only capitalized with one point off of State’s seven first-half turnovers. PSU’s 12 free throws made in the first half were the most given up by UF this season.

 

Penn State came out aggressive in the second half, opening with a 21-7 scoring splurge for a 64-39 advantage with 12:34 remaining in the game, and the Lady Lions led by as many as 28 points with 11:37 to go, but Lewis was up to the challenge with 12 of her 20 points in the final half of play. UF improved from 40.7 percent shooting in the first half to 52.2 percent from the field in the second to help slowly chip into the lead.

 

Needles knocked down one of her four three-pointers with 8:18 left for a 69-53 ballgame, while Lewis scored UF’s next three points on a free throw and jumper before Antoinette Bannister laid one in to dwindle the PSU lead to 15 points with 4:37 on the clock, 73-58 – as close as the Gators would get to mounting a comeback.

 

In fitting senior fashion, Bonds didn’t back down either, accounting for all three of Florida’s last points on a jumper – which counted as career points No. 1,600 & 1,601 – while a free throw at the 1:13 mark made it 81-61 and served as UF’s, and Bonds’, final points of the campaign.

 

The Lady Lions added a Tori Waldner layup for the 83-61 final.

 

Updated Records from Happy Valley

Florida 20-13 | Penn State: 24-7

 

Senior Salute

·         This was the final collegiate game for seniors Jaterra Bonds and Lily Svete

·         Florida’s senior class has compiled 80 wins during the last four years – 20 each season

·         Bonds & Svete both played in the 137th game of their respective careers, the MOST in UF history

·         Bonds’ final start was her 116th career game at Florida, tying DeLisha Milton (1993-97) for the third-most in Florida history. The senior guard additionally started her 103rd game as a Gator, third-longest streak in program history

·         Tuesday marked 58 consecutive games scoring by Bonds, as she wrapped up her final season as a Gator with the longest streak on the team

·         Bonds finished her career with 434 assists for sole possession of fourth place in the category in the UF record book, while she ends her Florida career in seventh place on UF’s all-time career scoring chart with 1,602 points

·         Bonds additionally now has 542 career free-throw attempts, third most in program history

 

Gator Notables vs. Penn State

·         Florida’s started the same five Gators for the seventh game in a row: Ronni Williams, Carlie Needles, Jaterra Bonds, Cassie Peoples and Kayla Lewis

·         Tuesday’s Orange and Blue starting lineup moved to 7-4 on the season

·         Needles moved to 2-2 this season in four-point play FTs after hitting one with 6:33 left in the first half that brought the Gators within six points of Penn State, 28-22

·         Lewis moved to 9-14 this season on three-point play FG with an and-one at the 11:18 mark in the second half of play against the Lady Lions

·         After defying the odds Sunday trailing at the half against Dayton and mounting a comeback, UF moved to 3-10 when down at the half with the loss to Penn State

·         The 22-point victory for Penn State (83-61) was the Gators’ largest margin of defeat this season (20 at Tennessee)

·         Penn State took a 2-1 edge in the series history between the two programs in just the third meeting Tuesday

·         The Gators are now 6-16 all-time vs. Big Ten opponents and Penn State moved to 25-30 vs. SEC foes

·         Williams had her streak of scoring in all of UF’s game this season snapped against the Lady Lions

 

NCAA Tourney Quick Hits

·         The Gators advanced to the NCAA Second Round for the ninth time in program history with their 20th win of the season, marking UF’s 14th 20-win season in program history

·         UF’s 20-win campaign marked its fourth straight and the fifth under head coach Amanda Butler

·         In all seven trips to the postseason under coach Amanda Butler, the Gators have won at least their first round game

·         Florida now owns a 12-14 all-time record in NCAA play, with the best showing a Regional Final appearance in 1997

·         Florida in the NCAA Tournament

o    All-Time: 12-14

o    First Round: 9-5

o    Second Round: 2-7

 

At the Half

·         The Gators scored the first two points of the game on a Kayla Lewis layup. Lewis went on to lead the Gators in the first half with eight points (3-6 FG, 2-2 FT) and five offensive boards

·         Florida trailed Penn State at the half, 43-32, as the Lady Lions’ 43 points marked the second most by a Gator opponent this season (44 by Kentucky 1/5)

·         PSU’s 12 successful free throws in the first half were the most by a UF opponent in the initial half, while its 15 free-throw attempts in the first half were the second-most by a Gator opponent in 2014 (Bethune-Cookman)

·         Despite the deficit in the score, the Gators and Lady Lions were fairly even from the floor. Florida shot 40.7 percent from the field, Penn State 42.4 percent. From three-point range, UF was 36.4 percent – led by redshirt sophomore Carlie Needles’ two treys – while PSU was 33.3. Penn State held the narrow edge from the charity stripe, 80 percent to Florida’s 75 percent

·         The Lady Lions out-worked the Gators  in the rebound category, 23-16, in the first half of play

 

Doubling Up

·         Three Gators posted double figure scoring performances in Tuesday’s loss, led by junior Kayla Lewis (20), while senior Jaterra Bonds sophomore Carlie Needles contributed 14 and 13, respectively

·         Lewis led UF’s scoring efforts for the 15th time in her Gator career, putting forth her 37th career double-figure scoring performance, her 21st this season

·         Needles posted her ninth double-digit effort of season, 15th of her career

·         Bonds made it 84 career games in double digits, 28 during the 2013-14 campaign

 

Streaks and Stuff

·         Antoinette Bannister, January Miller and Carlie Needles all hit treys against Penn State, giving UF 131 consecutive games with a 3-pointer

·         Needles posted her second consecutive game with three or more three-pointers, hitting three or more in three of UF’s last five games of the season

 

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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