By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
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DULUTH, Ga. - Jaterra Bonds scored a game-high 17 points and ninth-seeded Florida overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to post a 64-59 win against eighth-seeded Arkansas on Thursday at the Southeastern Conference Tournament at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
Florida (18-13) advances to play top-seeded Tennessee (23-6) on Friday at 12 p.m. ET on SportSouth. The Gators, who trailed 33-30 at intermission, won their first-round SEC Tournament game for the third consecutive year.
Bonds, who made a career-high 10 free-throws (10-of-12), turned in her 22nd double-figure scoring game of the season with 17 points to lead three Florida players in double-figure scoring. Freshman guard January Miller added 14 points, while freshman guard Sydney Moss added 13 points for the Gators.
Florida out-rebounded Arkansas 37-24 in the game, which saw both teams combine for 43 total turnovers. The Gators shot 37.0 percent (20-of-54) from the field, while Arkansas connected on 48.1 percent (26-of-54) of its shots.
Arkansas (18-12) placed four players in double-figure scoring including 12 points each from Kiera Peak, Quistelle Williams and Dominique Wilson.
• Florida is now 18-13 overall, 18-32 all-time in the SEC Tournament.
• The Gators have now won their first round SEC Tournament game in three consecutive seasons.
• Junior guard Jaterra Bonds led Florida with 17 points, her 22nd double-figure scoring game of the season.
• Freshman forward Sydney Moss finished with 13 points, for her 15th double-figure game, while fellow rookie January Miller added 14 for her sixth double-figure game.
• With her first basket of the game, freshman guard Carlie Needles crossed the 200-point mark for the season and her UF career. Needes finished with eight points, giving her 207 this season.
• By scoring six points, senior forward Jennifer George crossed the 1,200 point mark for her career.
• Florida closed the game on a 6-0 run after taking the lead for the final time with 0:51 remaining.
• The final lead change was the 11th in a game that also saw the teams tied five times.
• The Gators outrebounded the Razorbacks 37-24.
• The UF bench outscored its UA counterparts 26-11.
• Arkansas falls to 18-12 for the season, and the Razorbacks have one regular-season game left against SIU-Edwardsville on March 14.
• Arkansas is now 10-22 all-time in the SEC Tournament, including a 1-4 record against Florida.
• -Senior forward Sarah Watkins finished with 10 points, giving her 1,349 for her career and moving her to 13th in Arkansas history.
• Watkins had her 20th game of the season in double-figure scoring.
• The Razorbacks had a season-low 24 rebounds.
• With 8 assists in today’s game, sophomore guard Callie Berna moved up to 13th all-time at Arkansas with 274 for her career.
• Today was just Arkansas’ fourth loss of the season with Berna has seven or more assists (12-4).
• Arkansas led by as many as 11, with that mark coming with 17:03 left in the second half, after a 10-3 run to open the second period.