UF’s Jennifer George Leads Balanced Team Win Against San Francisco, 91-68
|men's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|Florida 91, San Francisco 68
|North Texas 69, Alabama 63
|Vanderbilt 99, UT-Martin 84
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Junior Jennifer George (Orlando, Fla.) scored a career-high 24 points and notched her third double-double of the year to lead a balanced offensive showing that featured all 10 Gators in uniform scoring in Florida’s 91-68 victory against San Francisco Wednesday night at War Memorial Gym.
Florida (7-2) earned its first true road win in its first attempt of the season, as the Gators bounced back from their tough loss to No. 11 Rutgers in their last game. The Dons (1-9) lost their eighth straight.
“It wasn’t a bad effort at all,” said UF coach Amanda Butler, who collected the 125th career coaching victory, as well as her 85th in five years with the Gators. “We could have played better defense in the second half. That probably the only area where there was a little dip in intensity. This was a great team win and everyone contributed. We were able to spread our minutes around and for most of the ballgame play Florida basketball.”
The Gators used a 17-0 run early in the first half to take a 13-point lead and added to that margin with a 9-2 spurt later in the period en route to a 46-28 halftime lead. Florida continued its intensity in the second half and slowly extended its lead with a 16-9 run to begin the final frame, as the Gator assumed a 25-point advantage and never looked back.
In addition to her career-high scoring performance that came on 11-of-16 shooting, George collected 11 rebounds for her seventh career double-double and helped the Gators overwhelm the Dons on the boards, 56-30, while holding the hosts without an offensive rebound for the entire first half. USF finished with six in game, while Florida snared 25 of the offensive side, with George responsible for seven of those.
“The thing about Jennifer is that there’s not much that’s flashy with her game,” Butler said. “What I respect the most about her game is that she seems like she gets her head knocked off every time she scores and doesn’t even get half of the credit for all the contact she’s taking. That shows her toughness and it shows how much attention she’s drawing from defenses. I’m really proud of her and how she bounced back from last game mentally.”
Senior Azania Stewart (Wood Green, England) also collected a season-high 11 rebounds while adding nine points and a pair of blocked shots. Seniors Lanita Bartley (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Deana Allen (Houma, La.) both scored 11 points, with Allen snaring seven rebounds.
A couple of Gators tallied a season-high scoring performances, with freshman Andrea Vilaró Aragonés (Barcelona, Spain) scoring seven points in 13 minutes and sophomore Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) accounting for five with her father in the stands.
Sacramento-native Brittany Shine also scored seven points, giving the few dozen hometown fans in attendance a lot to cheer about during the Gator win that saw them score a season-high 91 points.
Sophomore Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) recorded seven points with a team-high three assists and three steals, helping the Gators collect 11 thefts.
Rheina Ale led San Francisco with 19 points, while Kate Keating had 14 and Aundrea Gordon 12 for the Dons, who committed 18 turnovers that the Gator converted into 26 points.
Bartley began the game’s scoring with two layups before the teams exchanged buckets. San Francisco then went on a 10-2 spurt and took a 12-8 lead. The Gators had their chances during the early stretch, but made just 2-of-11 shots from the floor.
That’s when Florida went on a season-best 17-0 run over a 3:18 span and took a 25-12 lead. Six different Gators scored during the march, with Sacramento native Brittany Shine scoring four points, as did Jennifer George, whose mother was in the stands. Bartley added a three-pointer, while Deana Allen, Ndidi Madu and Jordan Jones each connected on a field goal.
Rheina Ale, who was honored during a pregame ceremony for scoring her 1,000th-career point, ended Florida’s run with an eight-footer from the left side that started a 7-2 run and closed the Gator lead to eight points, 27-19, with 7:32 to play.
The teams traded scores for the next two minutes, with Allen hitting a pull-up, 17-footer in a transition bucket with a feed from Jaterra Bonds, and George connecting on the other basket inside.
After the Dons were back within single digits, George put down back-to-back buckets and brought the lead back to 13 points, as she started a 9-2 run and had the Gators up 40-24 with 2:44 on the clock. Bonds knocked down a three-pointer and Allen converted a pair of free throws to complete the spurt.
Both clubs exchanged buckets for the next two minutes, before Andrea Vilaró Aragonés canned a 17-footer and George followed with an inside jumper, taking a feed from Vilaró Aragonés with less than 30 seconds remaining in the half and Florida took a 46-28 lead entering the locker room.
“After practice the other day (Vilaró Aragonés and I) talked about her comfort level and how much it’s improving every day,” Butler praised the freshman. “She has a chance to be the best passer on our team. She has tremendous vision and tremendous timing and lot of passes that she can throw in her arsenal that other players don’t have. I was really proud of her tonight.”
The Gators greatly improved their stroke from the floor, connecting on 45.5 percent (20-44) after their slow start, while holding a 26-15 rebounding advantage, even preventing the Dons from collecting a single offensive board during the first 20 minutes.
George led all scorers with 14 points, as she converted 7-of-10 shots during the opening frame when eight different Gators ticked the score board.
Alabama Women’s Basketball Topped by North Texas, 69-63
DENTON, Texas – The Alabama women’s basketball team (7-3) dropped a 69-63 decision at North Texas (7-2) on Wednesday. Junior Kyra Crosby, in her first appearance since Nov. 15, led the Crimson Tide in scoring with 13 points, while junior Erin Hogue had a team-high six rebounds.
“We have to grow up, be more consistent and have it every night,” said Alabama head coach Wendell Hudson. “Some players that have been playing well, didn’t play well tonight. You can’t go out on the road, play that way and expect to win. It’s too important to the other team when they’re playing at home and have the energy. North Texas did a good job making its free throws, but tonight we didn’t control the things we could control.”
The game started out close before a 12-3 run midway through the half put Alabama in front 19-10. From there, the Mean Green went on a run of its own, outscoring the Tide 12-2 over the next four minutes and would continue to hold the edge at halftime, leading 32-30 thanks to a last-second layup.
“When we talked to the team at halftime, we told them they have to control the things they can control,” explained Hudson. “You can’t control the whistles, but you can control a team like North Texas from getting offensive rebounds. You have to step up to the line and make free throws, and the layups. We missed 11 layups in the first half, and they’re not a shot-blocking team.”
In the second, Alabama would manage to grab a brief one-point lead after scoring the first three points, before North Texas embarked on a 16-5 run that put the Mean Green up by 10, its largest lead of the game, with 12:24 to play. The Tide was able to even the score at 56 at the 5:26 mark, thanks to a pair of free throws from junior Meghan Perkins, but Alabama would not be able to pass the Mean Green down the stretch.
Joining Crosby with double-figure points was junior Jessica Merritt and Perkins, with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Sophomore Shafontaye Myers had a game-high four assists, while Merritt came up with a team-best two steals.
Alabama shot 40.7 percent (24-59) from the floor, but was hampered by poor free throw shooting, making just 42.3 percent (11-26) of its attempts. In addition, the Tide was outrebounded 45-31 by the Mean Green, giving up 17 offensive boards to North Texas.
“It’s frustrating because it took us too long to get things together to go and win the basketball game,” added Hudson. “It’s hard to compete in a game when North Texas is in the bonus with 14 minutes remaining in the half. When we look at the stats, we took 26 free throws and shot 42 percent. If we make our free throws, then it’s a totally different game.”
Vanderbilt Outscores UT-Martin
MARTIN, Tenn. -- The No. 19/22 Vanderbilt women's basketball team used an impressive first-half shooting performance and a career-high from Jasmine Lister to take a road win, 99-84, at UT Martin. The Commodores now stand 10-0, while the Skyhawks fall to 4-4.
Lister hit her first six field goals of the contest and finished with 7-11 shooting to score a career-high 30 points. She also hit all 10 free throws, grabbed five rebounds and dished out five assists.
Christina Foggie added 20 points, her fifth-straight game with at least 20 points. She also matched her career-high with eight assists. Stephanie Holzer added 13 points and eight rebounds, while Kady Schrann scored 12 points.
UT Martin was led by 28 points from Jasmine Newsome, who was a perfect 12-12 from the foul line. She also had eight assists. Rickiesha Bryant added 18 points and seven rebounds, while Heather Butler scored 13 points.
The Commodores jumped out to a 54-33 halftime lead behind 19 points from Lister. She was a perfect 6-6 in the opening half, including 5-5 from beyond the three-point line. Foggie also poured in 13 in the opening frame. As a team, the Commodores shot 67.7% from the field and 81.8% from three in the first period.
The second half saw the Skyhawks put up a fight, as they outscored Vanderbilt, 51-45, in the period. Newsome led the charge, scoring 16 points and dishing out five assists in the closing half, while Bryant poured in eight. Vanderbilt used a balanced attack to maintain the lead, with Lister scoring 11, Schrann scoring eight and Foggie and Holzer each adding six.
Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb was pleased her team showed poise through the second half run by UT Martin.
"I felt really good about coming out with a win." Balcomb said. "There was a lot of offense in this game and we just out-shot them. They just kept coming after us, (UT Martin) is a very good basketball team."
Lister and Holzer agreed with Balcomb's sentiment.
"We gained a lot of confidence from this game," Holzer explained. "It was a great crowd, there was a lot of energy in this building. It was a good game to prepare us off of our home court, in a different environment and see if we could keep doing the things we do."
Lister thought one of the key plays came from the freshman Schrann.
"There was a time where they were making a run at us and Kady came back and got a steal," Lister said. "That was clutch for us because we could have folded and let them make more shots. Her getting that steal and getting fouled (at the other end) was clutch for us."
The 10-0 start for Vanderbilt ties for the best under Head Coach Melanie Balcomb and ties for the third-best in program history. The best start for a Vanderbilt team is 17-0 by the 1993 Final Four Team.