UF women's hoops falls to Michigan

Published: Friday, November 11, 2011 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 12:58 a.m.

Michigan’s Carmen Reynolds hit a clutch three-pointer with 1:20 left to play for the 29th and final lead change of the game and the Wolverines went on to down Florida, 69-66, in the season opener for both squads Friday before an O’Connell Center crowd of 3,028.

The Gators (0-1) had taken a 62-61 lead in the see-saw affair on Ndidi Madu’s offensive rebound and putback with 2:03 remaining, but the last two minutes for UF were forgettable. From that point until sophomore Jaterra Bonds’ meaningless three-pointer at the buzzer, the Wolverines outscored UF 8-1 down the stretch to earn the victory.

“You have to give Michigan a lot of credit for the way they played and executed,” said UF head coach Amanda Butler, who fell to 3-2 in season openers. “They really looked like a very solid and experienced veteran team. I felt they did an excellent job of executing their game plan of what would be effective against us, and I felt that we didn’t.”

Michigan (1-0) got 21 points from senior point guard Courtney Boylan, 15 from Reynolds and 13 from junior Rachel Sheffer to offset a 21-point performance from Gator senior guard Jordan Jones that included five three-pointers.

Fellow senior Lanita Bartley added 13 points, but poor overall shooting (23-of-69, 33.3 percent), including a 10-27 effort from three-point range, and a lack of defense that allowed the Wolverines to connect on 27-of-55 (49.1 percent) from the floor doomed UF.

“Plain and simple, we didn’t do a good job of winning the paint – we weren’t even close to that,” Butler said. “We shot way too many threes, and a lot of them didn’t make any sense. The biggest disappointment in the way we played is we just didn’t pay enough attention on the defensive end, which is where we feel like we’re best.”

The Gators, who open the season with four straight home games, will try and bounce back against Stetson Monday at 7 p.m.

“Luckily this is our first game and not our last one,” Butler said. “We obviously have a lot of things to improve and a great opportunity to do that when we play again on Monday.”

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