Women’s basketball team rolls Ole Miss


Published: Monday, February 6, 2012 at 8:41 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 6, 2012 at 8:41 a.m.

The inside show came first, followed by the outside show. And, when it was over, the Florida Gators had put on quite a show in a dominating 84-55 win over Ole Miss before a crowd of 920 at the O’Connell Center on Sunday.

Senior point guard Lanita Bartley recorded her first career double-double with a 17-point, 10-rebound effort, tying her career-high rebounding mark. Senior center Azania Stewart, who was coming off her first double-double of the season in UF’s big road win over LSU Thursday, scored a season-high 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field and pulled down seven rebounds, while sophomore Brittany Shine came off the bench to score 14 points, all in the second half including four three-pointers, as the Gators improved to 15-8 overall while evening their SEC slate at 5-5.

Ole Miss (12-12, 2-9), losers of six straight, was led by Valencia McFarland and Tia Faleru with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

UF shot 48.5 percent (33-of-68) from the field including 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) from beyond the arc. The Gators also won the rebounding battle, 46-38, and tied their season-high marks for made three-pointers (10) and assists (22) while tying a season-low for turnovers (nine). In addition, all 10 players scored, the fifth time this season that has happened and the second straight game.

“It’s great whenever we can spread the ball around like that,” coach Amanda Butler said. “I don’t know when we’ve had 22 assists and nine turnovers in a long time, and I think that was a result of a lot of good defense and some good passing at the end of those transition advantage situations.”

The Gators opened the game by going inside, scoring 24 points in the paint en route to taking a 41-26 halftime lead.

With Ole Miss collapsing defensively after intermission, Florida answered by knocking down seven second-half treys and led by as many as 30 before settling for the 29-point win, the largest against a league opponent since a 91-53 win over South Carolina in January 2001.

“We felt like with the depth we have at the post and certainly the way Azania is playing so well on the low block, we want that to be our first line of attack,” Butler said. “I thought when they made adjustments and started sending two and three players at them, Azania and (Jennifer) George did a great job of finding those shooters, and our shooters did a great job of stepping up and taking advantage of those open looks.”

UF can move above the .500 mark in the SEC for the first time this season with a home win over Auburn (11-13, 3-8) Thursday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. in the O-Dome.

“I’m really proud of the way we prepared and the way we came into this game,” Butler said. “I felt like we set the tone in the first half and eventually we had some people step up with some really nice numbers. It’s just a little more momentum going into Thursday and getting us closer to achieving our goals.”

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