Kentucky Women's Basketball: Wildcats vs. Florida Gators Preview And Open Game Thread

Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

The Wildcats take on the Florida Gators in women's basketball today in Memorial Coliseum to get started on the 2014 SEC home schedule.

Today, the Kentucky Wildcats take on the Florida Gators in Memorial Coliseum. Game details can be found at UKAthletics.com.

About the Gators

All information presented via Women's Basketball State.

  • Head Coach: Amanda Butler (since 2007)
  • NCAA appearances: 13
  • NCAA record: 11-13
  • Most recent NCAA appearance: 2012
  • 2012-13 record: 22-15 (6-10)
  • 2013-14 record: 11-3 (1-0)

Season so far

Florida's 3 losses to date have been at Virginia tech, vs. #21 Florida St. and vs. Illinois St. at home. The Illinois St. loss would have to be considered a pretty bad one, but the other ones have come against good teams. Win-wise, Florida has good wins against St. John's, Oregon St., and Mississippi St.

Players of note

  • Senior point guard Jaterra Bonds is Florida's leading scorer at 16.8 points per game, and also leads in assists at 4.6 per game. She's gone for over 20 points 5 times so far this season.

  • Sophomore guard January Miller is the second leading scorer on the team at 12.2 per game, and leads the team in 3-point shooting percentage at 52.9%. She went 4-5 from the arc in the Gators loss to Florida St.

  • Junior guard Kayla Lewis is a remarkable rebounder, leading the team at 8.1 rebounds per game, asd is also the most efficient player on the team at 1.22 points per weighted shot.

  • Freshman swing player Ronni Williams is the second leading rebounder on the team at 6.6 per game.

Game Analysis

The Gators are a smallish team that gets wins by hustle and effort, and they will have a significant disadvantage on the glass against the Wildcats, even with leading scorer and inside dominator DeNesha Stallworth still recovering from recent knee surgery. The Gators are coming off a very good win against Mississippi St., holding the Bulldogs to 34% from the field while shooting 47% themselves.

The Gators are a very good free-throw shooting team, and as such, Kentucky must resist putting them on the line. But the Gators are struggling somewhat with turnovers, and against Kentucky's 40 Minutes of Dread defense, its very unlikely that they can improve that statistic here.

For Kentucky to win this game, they must get the ball inside and force Florida to defend their taller front-court players. They must also avoid live turnovers, because the smaller Gators are very good in transition and can really kill people when they turn them over.

My feeling is the Wildcats win this 75-65.

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