Florida women set to begin play in SEC Tournament
The Florida women's basektball team opens play in the second round of the 2013 SEC Tournament this afternoon at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga.
The No. 9 Gators (17-13, 6-10 SEC) will play No.8 seed Arkansas (18-11, 6-10 SEC) at Noon.
The winner meets top-seeded Tennessee (23-6, 14-3 SEC) on Friday at Noon.
Florida defeated Arkansas 69-58 on February 28 - exactly seven days ago - in the only regular-season between the two programs.
“It was less than a week ago when we played,'' Florida coach Amanda Butler said. "It comes down to this time of year when you’re playing a team for the second or even the third time in a season,” Butler said. “Your will to execute and how determined you’ll be to do the things you do versus what your opponent is going to do. Every team knows each other really well at this point."
Florida is 3-1 all-time against Arkansas in the SEC Tournament, with the last meeting a 68-59 Gator win in the first round of the 2011 event when Florida was the No. 8 seed.
This is the sixth time the Gators are the No. 9 seed in the league’s postseason event. The Gators have won their opening-round each of the last two years.
Only three current members of the Gator squad have ever played in an SEC Tournament game: Jaterra Bonds, Jennifer George and Lily Svete.
Redshirt sophomore Kayla Lewis and freshman Christin Mercer are Georgia natives. Lewis is from Decatur, located just 18 miles from Duluth. Mercer is from Douglasville, 38 miles from Duluth.
“This is the best conference tournament in the country,” UF coach Amanda Butler said. “When you look at the results throughout the course of the year, there isn’t any other place to be to watch great women’s basketball. Our game with Arkansas is a part of that, as well.”