GAINESVILLE — Early Thursday, Florida senior center Azania Stewart sent a text to her teammates reminding them that their game against rival Florida State would most likely be won or lost in the paint.
Stewart was right. The Gators outscored FSU 44-30 in the paint on their way to a 72-58 upset of the No. 21 Seminoles at the O'Connell Center.
UF (2-1) last beat FSU (2-2) in 2009. Gator seniors got their first home win over the Seminoles.
"Obviously I'm just thrilled to death for our team, and in particular our seniors and our post players who worked really, really hard," Florida coach Amanda Butler said. "Florida State is a fantastic team and very well-coached. That's not just an NCAA Tournament team, that's a team that's going to advance in the NCAA Tournament. This was a great win for us because it was truly, truly a team win."
Junior forward Jennifer George shot 9 of 11 and had a team-high 18 points and four rebounds. Steward added 10 points and six rebounds. FSU forward Cierra Bravard had a game-high 22 points, fouling out late.
"Florida played with a lot more heart and passion than we did," FSU coach Sue Semrau said.
USF romps at home
TAMPA — Kaneisha Saunders led three players in double figures with 14 points as USF cruised past North Florida 76-41 before a home-opener crowd of 577 at the Recreation Center.
"I'm looking forward to next year playing in the Sun Dome, but then again this rec center isn't too bad," Saunders said.
USF (2-2) tied a season high with seven 3s in the first half on the way to a 41-16 advantage.
North Florida (0-2) made only seven field goals in the first half and committed 11 turnovers.
No. 1 Bears, No. 2 Irish win, meet Sunday
WACO, Texas — Brittney Griner had 18 points with 14 rebounds and Odyssey Sims scored 22 for top-ranked Baylor in an 83-50 victory over No. 22 UCLA that set up a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the preseason WNIT championship game.
The Bears (3-0) host No. 2 Notre Dame on Sunday. The host Irish beat Hartford 98-43. Skylar Diggins and Natalie Novosel each scored 22 for Notre Dame (3-0).
No. 6 Texas A&M 83, Arkansas-Little Rock 54: Kelsey Bone had 16 points and eight rebounds for the visiting Aggies (3-0).
No. 7 Miami 107, Prairie View 26: Shenise Johnson scored 25 and the host Hurricanes (2-1) set a school record for margin of victory. The previous record was 100-20 over Homestead Air Force Base on Jan. 14, 1976. Prairie View, a 2011 NCAA Tournament qualifier from the Southwest Athletic Conference, was held without a field goal until a short jumper with 9:40 left in the first half made the score 39-4.
No. 9 L'ville 77, Eastern ky. 53: The visiting Cardinals (2-1) overcame Shoni Schimmel's 5-for-20 shooting in her debut. The point guard, a transfer from North Carolina, was suspended for two games for playing in a nonsanctioned summer event.
Del. 80, No. 11 Penn St. 71: Elena Delle Donne had 40 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks as the Blue Hens beat the Nittany Lions (2-1). Penn State is the highest-ranked team Delaware defeated.
No. 12 Georgia 73, College of Charleston 48: The host Bulldogs (3-0) took an 18-0 lead. The Cougars missed their first five shots, their first four free throws and turned the ball over seven times before scoring.
No. 16 Purdue 54, Bowling Green 53: Courtney Moses scored after inbounding the ball off a defender to herself with 13 seconds left to lift the visiting Boilermakers (2-0).
No. 17 UK 81, Northeastern 47: The host Wildcats (3-0) forced 37 turnovers in their victory.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.