Florida wants revenge on FSU

Published: Monday, January 2, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 2, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
How much does tonight's Florida-Florida State game in the O'Connell Center mean to the Gators?
Well, the look on coach Carolyn Peck's face explains it all.
When asked if she was looking forward to a rematch with the Seminoles (6:30 p.m., FSN), Peck didn't have an immediate answer.
Instead, she offered a sly smile, paused several seconds and said, "It'll be nice. It'll be nice."
There are two big reasons why Florida is amped up about the game.
First and foremost, the Seminoles (9-3) are responsible for the Gators' (11-1) only loss this season - an 82-76 decision in Tallahassee on Nov. 23. Secondly, Peck knows the win would help the Gators in their quest to return to the NCAA Tournament after missing out a season ago.
"Our season is not made or broken by one game," Peck said. "But this is one of those games we're trying to win because there's a bigger picture for this team. Our goal is to get into postseason play."
The Gators appear on course. Since losing to the Seminoles over a month ago, Florida has reeled off nine consecutive wins. It's tied for the second longest win streak in program history. The longest is the 12-game streak reeled off during the 1993-94 season.
But tonight isn't about winning streaks. For Florida it's about taking advantage of this chance to avenge their only loss of the season - and to an in-state rival, no less.
"To be able to come back and play them again is a big opportunity for us," senior Brittany Davis said. "It's a chance to come back and show the character this team has formed."
Senior Dalila Eshe, a Tallahassee native, said the Gators should have won the first meeting in Tallahassee. Florida held an 11-point lead with just over 11 minutes left before the Seminoles went on runs of 11-2 and 12-2 to bury Florida.
"We're determined to win this game because we all feel like we should have won that (last) one," said Eshe, who had a career-high 21 points in that contest. "I think we're going to box out better than we have in most games we have to continue playing team ball like we have been."
Florida will also be looking to regain control of the series with FSU. The Seminoles snapped Florida's 16-game win streak in this series when they won last year's season opener 72-62 in the O'Connell Center. FSU then made it two in a row with its' win in Tallahassee in November.
Florida hopes to use its home court to its' advantage tonight. The Seminoles are just 2-2 on the road this season while the Gators are 7-0 at home.
Tonight's contest is the last non-conference game for the Gators before opening Southeastern Conference play Thursday when Alabama visits.
You can reach Brandon Zimmerman by calling 374-5051 or by e-mail at zimmerb@gvillesun.com.

Florida probable starting lineup

POS. PLAYER HT. YR. PPG RPG G Sha Brooks 5-7 Fr. 14.0 3.0 G Sarah Lowe 5-7 Sr. 6.2 1.6 G Danielle Santos 5-10 Sr. 8.1 3.8 F Brittany Davis 6-2 Sr. 13.5 7.8 F Dalila Eshe 6-3 Sr. 13.8 7.4

Florida State probable starting lineup

Pos. Player Ht. Yr. PPG RPG G LaQuinta Neely 5-9 Sr. 3.8 3.3 G Holly Johnson 5-8 Sr. 10.1 2.3 F Alicia Gladden 5-11 Jr. 11.5 5.1 F Ganiyat Adeduntan 6-1 Sr. 12.2 5.0 C Britany Miller 6-4 Fr. 10.4 5.9
NOTES: Florida leads the all-time series 38-23 and has won 16 of the last 18. The Seminoles, however, have won the last two meetings. ... Florida has not lost three straight to FSU since 1991-93. ... Freshman Sha Brooks' career-high 22 points Thursday against Liberty made her the team's leading scorer at 14.0 points per game. Brooks is averaging 16.5 poitns, 5.5 steals and 4.5 rebounds per game over her last two games. ... Tonight's game is the eighth of 15 games on Florida's schedule against team that advanced to the postseason last year.

Tonight's game AT A GLANCE

WHO: Florida State (9-3) at Florida (11-1)
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. WHERE: O'Connell Center ON AIR: FSN/AM-850 INSIDE: Probable lineups and notes, 9C

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top