Gator Women Hoops Get Overtime Win Over Georgetown
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Senior Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) scored a career-high 26 points and gave Florida its first lead of the game three seconds into overtime as the Gators overcame a 16-point halftime deficit and completed the fourth-largest comeback win in program history with a 67-65 victory against Georgetown on Saturday in the O’Connell Center.
The game was the final non-conference contest for both teams.
The Gators won the overtime tip and it took Bonds three seconds to drive to the basket, where she converted the layin and completed the three-point-play that gave Florida a 61-58 lead, its first of the game.
Georgetown center Natalie Butler, who led the visitors with 16 points and 18 rebounds, closed the gap with a layup, but the Gators kept the lead at three on the next possession when Kayla Lewis(Decatur, Ga.) knocked down two free throws with 2:43 to play in the bonus period and Florida held a 63-60 edge with 2:43 on the clock.
January Miller (Orlando, Fla.), who had just been re-inserted into the game, came up with a defensive steal and the Gators took advantage, as sophomore Cassie Peoples (San Antonio, Texas) drilled a 25-footer as the shot clock was expiring that lifted the Gators to a 66-60 edge with 1:57 on the clock.
GU’s Faifth Woodward answered with a trey on the other end 15 seconds later and kept the difference between the two teams at three.
The Gators committed their 18th turnover of the game on their next possession and Woodard made it count for GU, as her off-balance two-point jumper banked in off the glass with 25.1 to play, and the Gator lead was down to one, 66-65.
Florida nearly turned the ball over again, but called a timeout with 17 seconds to go to set up its next series. Bonds drove hard and was fouled. She made the first free throw that was her career-high 26th point and more importantly gave Florida a 67-65 lead, but missed the second with 15 seconds remaining.
Martin missed her three-point try with nine seconds left and Bonds corralled the defensive board to close out Florida’s comeback.
Florida was woeful in the first half when it committed 12 of its 18 turnovers and dug itself a 34-18 halftime hole.
The Gators, however, never quit and found a way to tie the game at 46 with 6:23 remaining in regulation, at 55 with 2:23 on the clock, and after Woodard converted a pair of free throws with 27 seconds left that gave the Hoyas a 58-55 lead, Bonds found Peoples for an open three, and the sophomore, who had missed nine of her first 10 shots from the field, including all four from deep, delivered from beyond the arc and brought the O’Connell Center crowd to its feet with 20.9 to play in regulation and tied the score at 58.
Martin’s three-pointer at the buzzer missed the mark for the Hoyas and the game headed into overtime.
The Gators outscored Georgetown 40-24 in the second half, when they shot 46.9 percent after a 20.8 percent mark in the first 20 minutes. The Hoyas, who won the rebounding battle 52-34, hit 50 percent of their shots in the first half, but just 28 percent in the second.
The opening five minutes of the game witnessed back and forth action, with each team struggling to find a groove. Miller and Bonds tallied a pair of baskets as the Gators trailed 7-4 at the under-16 timeout. Florida struggled from the field as Georgetown went on a 10-1 run to increase its lead to 17-5, forcing Florida to take a timeout at 10:36.
Bonds ended Florida’s 9:40 field goal drought with 6:36 left in the half. The senior followed the basket up with a fast break layup to cut the deficit to 21-12, forcing the Hoyas to take a timeout at the 6:01 mark. After cutting the lead to seven, Georgetown proceeded to go on a 13-4 run to take a 34-18 lead into the locker room. Florida shot a mere 20.8 percent from the field and did not make a shot from outside in opening half.
Bonds was Florida’s first half leader with 11 points with three field goals and five made free throws. Georgetown’s size was evident early as the Hoyas scored 24 of 34 points inside the paint compared to Florida’s six. However, the second half produced opposite results. Florida’s defense tightened up inside, allowing eight points inside the rest of the way.
Florida opened up the second half on a 11-0 run, cutting the Hoyas lead to 34-29, with baskets from Bonds, Ronni Williams (Daytona Beach, Fla.), Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) and Carlie Needles(Highlands Ranch, Col.). The Gators cut the lead down to two and were down five after Georgetown’s Jade Martin connected on a three-point shot. Bonds responded with a jump shot with 7:26 left in the second half, moving the Gators within three, down 46-43. Coming out of the timeout, Bonds completed a three-point play when she was fouled on a layup in transition.
After the Gators tied the game for the first time since the opening tip, Georgetown rattled off four consecutive points and began shooting in the double bonus after Christin Mercer (Douglasville, Ga.), who was 27-33 from the field in the Gators previous three wins, fouled out. A Hoya foul at the 5:16 mark put Miller at the line as the Gators began shooting in the double-bonus down 51-47.
After a Georgetown basket, Peoples ended a 0-9 shooting start with a layup of her own. At the under four-minute timeout, Georgetown led 55-53. Miller snuck behind a screen and Bonds found her teammate for an open layup to tie the game at 55-55 with 2:23 left. Faith Woodward made the first free throw to push the Hoyas ahead 56-55, and the Gators ensuing offensive possession resulted in a turnover. Woodward was fouled and made both free throws to set up the final scene in regulation.
Florida will head into conference play with a 10-3 record after capping off a perfect 6-0 December.
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