Florida Women Win 2nd Straight over Ranked Opponent
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Senior Jaterra Bonds scored 15 points to lead a trio of double-figure Gator scorers and Florida defeated No. 25 (ESPN-USA Today Coaches Poll, receiving votes in AP) Arkansas, 59-52, for its ninth consecutive win and improved to 3-0 in Southeastern Conference play. Sophomores January Miller and Christin Mercer each scored 13 points to round out the double-digit scorers for Florida.
Arkansas fought back from a 41-31 deficit and pulled within one point as late as with 2:27 remaining, before Florida finished on a 12-6 run, when Kayla Lewis finished a jumper inside after a nice dish from Christin Mercer, who scored the next bucket for the Gators that gave them a 51-47 advantage with 58 seconds left.
Florida sealed the game at the free throw line, where it connected on all eight of its attempts in the final 40 seconds, with Bonds, Carlie Needles, Cassie Peoples and Miller each netting two.
The Gators controlled the first eight minutes of the game, going up 12-5 with 12:06 left in the first half before the Razorbacks found their footing and went on a 8-2 run which cut Florida's lead to 14-13 with 6:52 remaining in the period. Neither team led by more than four after that, with the score being knotted at 24-24 at halftime.
Florida shot 41.7 percent in the first half, while holding Arkansas to 36 percent from the field.
The first 4:58 of the second stanza saw both teams fight for points. The largest lead during that time was Arkansas' 29-26 advantage with 18:16 left on the clock. Then, at 15:02, a free throw by Bonds sparked an 11-0 run that lasted 7:28 and saw Florida take a 41-31 lead, its largest of the contest.
Arkansas outscored Florida 21-18 in the final 7:34 of the game, but the rally was too little too late for the Razorbacks.
Florida shot 42 percent (21-50) for the game, while Arkansas hit 32.1 (18-56) percent of its attempts. The Gators outscored the Razorbacks in the paint 30-18 and off the bench 23-1.
The Razorbacks were led by freshmen McKenzie Adams and Jessica Jackson, both of whom scored 23 points.
Updated Records: Florida 13-3, 3-0 SEC ... Arkansas 14-2, 1-2 SEC
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