George nets 1,000th point as UF women beat Pacific
Published: Friday, December 7, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 12:11 a.m.
Senior Jennifer George scored her 1,000th career point and the Florida women's basketball team used a balanced attack Friday and made its free throws in the final minute to defeat Pacific, 89-82, in the O'Connell Center.
Florida (7-3) took down a Pacific team that had arrived in Gainesville as one of 17 undefeated NCAA Division I teams in the country, but an evenly distributed offense and persistent defensive pressure by the Gators from the start was too much for Pacific to overcome. The Gators, however did need all 40 minutes to post their 11th consecutive home win, as well as their 12th straight home win versus non-conference opponents.
The teams remained close early, as both sides fought hard on each possession, until George and a fast-paced Gator offense jumped out front and gave Florida a 43-29 advantage at the break.
The Tigers (7-1) showed why they had won seven consecutive games to start the season, as they battled back from a 21-point deficit with 6:15 remaining and trimmed Florida's lead to five, 81-76, with 1:53 seconds remaining.
Freshman Sydney Moss found George inside and she converted the bucket to stop a four-point run by Pacific, as Kendall Kenyon missed a layup on the Tiger's ensuing offensive possession and Pacific sent the Gators to the free throw line for the final 1:14 of the game.
Florida came through by sinking 6-of-14, including a 4-for-6 effort from junior Jaterra Bonds, during the last 74 seconds, as the Tigers continued to battle until the final horn.
“A really good win,” UF coach Amanda Butler said. “I think that team is a postseason team for sure. I have a lot of respect for them. This is the team that came in here undefeated but I think that they will leave here and continue to do good things.
“We had a lot of toughness in our win. We fought through some things and we overcame the fact that we missed way too many free throws and turned the ball too many times, but we did that with our toughness and really made stops and making plays in the most important points of the ball game.”
With 22 seconds remaining in the game, George sank one free throw, which was her 1,000th-career point and more importantly gave Florida an 87-80 lead. That make helped the Gator's lone senior become the 21st player in program history to reach the scoring milestone. George is the first Gator to join the 1,000-point club since Marshae Dotson netted her 1,000th on Feb. 10, 2008.
George finished the game with 17 points and 12 rebounds for her second double-double of the season and the 21st of her career. She also tied her career-high of five steals.
Bonds scored a game-high 20 points, hitting 12-of-15 free throws an effort that tied for the fourth-most made free throws in a game in program history.
The Gators now take a nine-day break for final exams before returning to competition on Dec. 16, when they visit LaSalle in Philadelphia, Pa., where tip-off from Tom Gola Arena is scheduled for 1 p.m.
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