Gainesville, FL - Florida has lost consecutive games for the first
time this year and aims to halt the run on Thursday, when the team plays host to 19th-ranked Kentucky in the O’Connell Center beginning at 7 p.m. This is the final non-televised game of the year for the Gators.
The radio broadcast of the game can be heard live in Gainesville on
WBXY-FM 99.5 The Star and free through the internet at
www.GatorZone.com, the official website of the Florida Gators.
● $1 Day – All general admission tickets are only one dollar!
● Pepsi Giveaway – First 500 fans receive a free Gator beanie
hat courtesy of Pepsi.
After each of Florida’s first five losses, the team rallied in its
next game for an impressive win. The Gators lost their sixth game to
Tennessee and looked to be responding with a huge road victory at
Georgia on Sunday, jumping out to a 16-point second-half lead. The
Bulldogs, however, staged a remarkable comeback and handed the Gators a deflating 70-64 setback.
The Gators had complied a modest nine-game home winning streak that
included an 8-0 mark this year and ended with the loss to Tennessee. It
was tied for the fourth-longest home winning streak in program history.
In three-plus years under head coach Amanda Butler, Florida is 46-14
overall (76.7%) at home, including an 8-1 record this year.
Florida dropped a heartbreaking 70-64 decision at Georgia on Sunday.
The Gators led by as many 16 points with 14:17 remaining in the game.
From that point forward, Georgia sank six three-pointers and Florida
turned the ball over nine times that resulted in 16 Lady Bulldog points
en route to the win.
Kentucky enters Thursday’s game riding a two-game winning streak,
having earned home wins against South Carolina (Jan. 13, 66-48) and
Mississippi State (Jan. 16, 72-60). The Wildcats jumped out to a
commanding 42-21 halftime lead and held on during the Lady Bulldogs’
second-half rally, when the outscored the hosts 39-30.
Florida holds a slim 22-20 all-time lead against Kentucky, including a
10-7 advantage over the Wildcats in games played in Gainesville. The
Gators’ most recent win in the series was a 74-59 victory in
Gainesville on Jan. 29, 2009. Kentucky has won four of the last six
versus the Gators.
After dropping its first two SEC games (at Arkansas, 78-67 and to
Georgia, 61-59), Kentucky is looking every bit like the league’s
second-best team, as predicted in the SEC Preseason Poll conducted by
both the coaches and media. The Wildcats enter this week’s action
ranked third in the country for turnover margin (+8.47) and 24th for
steals per game (12.2 pg).
UK senior forward Victoria Dunlap is the reigning SEC Player of the
Year and is poised to repeat as she leads the league in all-games
scoring (17.7 ppg) and steals (3.4 pg), while ranking tied-for-third in
rebounding (9.3 pg) and third for field goal percentage (486.%).
Sophomore guard A’dia Mathies, last year’s SEC Freshman of the Year,
is directing UK’s potent offensive attack by dishing 2.8 assists per
game, while contributing 14.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Center
Bernisha Pinkett was named this week’s SEC Freshman of the Week after
averaging 15.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in two SEC wins.
Jordan Jones leads the Gator scoring effort, recording 9.9 points per
game, hitting a team-leading 38 three-pointers and playing 32.3 minutes
Azania Stewart is Florida’s leading rebounder with 6.4 per game and
is tops with a 52.5 percent field goal mark (Stewart led the SEC in
field goal percentage last year, 61.9%). Her 28 blocked shots is one
ahead of Jennifer George’s 27 swats.
Lanita Bartley is dishing 3.4 assists and 1.9 steals, while finding her
way to the free throw a team-best 67 times.
Through five SEC games, junior newcomer Deana Allen is averaging
team-bests of 9.0 points and 5.8 rebounds, including her 14
point-13-rebound performance against Georgia on Sunday.
Eleven of Florida’s 19 games this season have been decided by 10
points or fewer, with seven being six-point-or-less differences.
Game Day Information
Florida Gators (12-7, 2-3 SEC) host the #19 Kentucky Wildcats (13-4,
Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 7 pm ET
Stephen C. O’Connell Center (12,000) - Gainesville, Fla.