UF notebook: Women’s basketball team looks to bounce back
Published: Monday, February 17, 2014 at 1:15 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:18 p.m.
Despite dropping a 67-58 decision on the road to Georgia on Sunday, the Florida women's basketball team still finds itself in a fourth-place tie with No. 18 Kentucky and No. 19 LSU in the conference standings with four regular-season games left to play.
The Gators (17-8, 7-5) will look to strengthen their spot in the top half of the nation's best conference when they host Missouri on Thursday in the O'Connell Center at 7 p.m.
“We had a really disappointing and tough loss at Georgia,” coach Amanda Butler said. “Just like everybody else in this league, if you don't play well, things probably aren't going to go well, especially when you're playing away from home.”
The Tigers (15-10, 4-8), who are coming off a 68-58 road win over Auburn on Sunday, are led by senior forward Bria Ludas, who ranks second overall in the SEC in scoring with 18.4 points per game and is No. 1 in conference games with a 19.8 average.
“Missouri played fantastic in beating a very, very talented Auburn team at Auburn,” Butler said, “They're playing well and shoot the ball better than anybody in our league, so it's going to be a very tough matchup.”
No. 8 UF swept a pair of home matches by beating Jacksonville, 21-5, and High Point, 18-7, last week.
The Gators (2-1) will look to duplicate that effort this week against James Madison and Cincinnati.
Florida hosts the Dukes (1-0) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium before closing out a season-high four-game homestand against the Bearcats (0-1) Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
“What can I say? We like to play at home,” coach Amanda O'Leary said. “It was a good week for the Florida lacrosse team.
“Offensively, I think we're going to have our work cut out for us against James Madison. They're a solid defense and a veteran team.”
In related news, junior midfielders Shannon Gilroy and Nora Barry have been named to the 2014 American Lacrosse Conference’s Players to Watch list.
The Gators, fresh off an SEC dual-meet win over No. 11 Arkansas last Friday, will host their popular Link to Pink Meet in honor of breast cancer awareness this Friday against LSU.
Friday's meet will mark the third time this season UF (6-0, 4-0), currently ranked No. 2, will square off against an opponent ranked No. 4 or higher, as the Tigers (7-2, 3-1) come in right behind the Gators at No. 3 in the latest GymInfo poll.
“Last week was a very good competition,” coach Rhonda Faehn said. “We achieved all the goals we were looking for as far as moving towards hitting more landings. It was our sixth competition of the season, and I know we were excited to be back in the O'Dome. I thought that it was solid all-around.”
After winning two of three matches at the 2014 National Team Indoor Championships, the No. 5 Gators open their outdoor dual-match season by hosting No. 28 FSU today at 4 p.m.
UF (6-1), which defeated host Virginia, 4-2, in first-round action but fell to Northwestern by the same score in the quarterfinals, did bounce back to knock off No. 6 Southern Cal, 4-1, in their last match.
“If you can take anything from the indoor trip, I think that there is great character on this team,” coach Roland Thornqvist said. “They responded the right way after a loss.”