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Antonya English, Times Staff Writer

Antonya English

Antonya English has covered University of Florida sports for the Times since 2001, a tenure that has included three head football coaches and three national champions. A former news reporter, she moved to the sports department at the Gainesville Sun in 1993 for what she thought would be a short stint, and never looked back. She came to the Times from the Dallas Morning News in 1997.

Phone: (813) 226-3389

E-mail: english@tampabay.com

Blog: Gator Report

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  1. Florida State-Miami basketball, 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Tallahassee

    College

    .TODAY

    Florida State vs. No. 23 Miami

    When/where: 12:30; Tucker Center, Tallahassee

    TV/radio: ESPNU; 1040-AM

    Records: FSU 11-10, 3-5 ACC; Miami 14-6, 4-3

    Notable: The Seminoles will try to earn their first win of the season over a ranked team. … FSU has won two of its past three ACC games but has lost three of its past four against the Hurricanes. … In his past two games, FSU freshman Xavier Rathan-Mayes is averaging 28 points and 5.0 rebounds, and is shooting 53.7 percent from the field. He has played 85 of a possible 90 minutes during that stretch. … Miami G Angel Rodriguez has nine games with double-digit scoring after halftime....

  2. Michael Frazier's two free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining lifts Gators over Arkansas 57-56

    Blog

    VIDEO BELOW IN FRAZIER'S OWN WORDS

    Prior to Saturday afternoon’s game against Arkansas, Florida forward Dorian Finney-Smith told guard Michael Frazier he had a premonition.

    “I told him he was going to make the game-winning shot,” Finney-Smith said.

    With Frazier going 2-of-9 from the field and 0-for-5 from 3-point range late in the game, that didn’t seem like much of a possibility....

  3. Frazier's free throws give Florida win over Arkansas

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Before Saturday afternoon's game against Arkansas, Florida forward Dorian Finney-Smith told guard Michael Frazier he had a premonition.

    "I told him he was going to make the game-winning shot," Finney-Smith said.

    With Frazier being 2-of-9 from the field and 0-for-5 from 3-point range late, that didn't seem like much of a possibility.

    Then Arkansas forward Alandise Harris was called for a foul on Frazier as he crashed the board for a rebound off a Chris Chiozza miss with 1.9 seconds remaining in the game....

    Florida guard Michael Frazier II (20) makes a free throw to tie the game with 1.9 seconds left in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Alabam at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, in Gainesville, Fla. Frazier made the second free throw to give the Gators a one-point lead. Florida won Arkansas 57-56. (AP Photo/The Gainesville Sun, Matt Stamey)  THE INDEPENDENT FLORIDA ALLIGATOR OUT  FLGAI103
  4. Florida-Arkansas basketball, 1 p.m. Saturday, Gainesville

    College

    .Today

    Florida vs. Arkansas

    When/where: 1; O'Connell Center, Gainesville

    TV/radio: Ch. 10, 620-AM Records: Florida 11-9, 4-3 SEC; Arkansas 16-4, 5-2

    Notable: Florida has won two in a row and seven of the past eight against the Razorbacks, but Arkansas enters on a three-game winning streak with two players — F Bobby Portis (17.5) and G Michael Qualls (16.5) — averaging at least 16 points a game. The Razorbacks and Gators make the most 3-pointers in the SEC; they combine for an average of 14.2 made per game. Arkansas leads the league with 7.2 per game....

  5. Dante Fowler buys newspaper ad to thank Florida Gators fans

    Blog

    In the final weeks of his Florida Gators career, Dante Fowler, Jr. insisted he had no regrets about choosing to attend Florida.

    "I feel like I’ve accomplished and done everything I could on and off the field," Fowler told the Times in late Decembber. "I met a lot of great people, I got to learn some things.  These were the best three years of my life I can honestly say. . .  Being humble and the guy that I am, I cherish all my opportunities and I’m always thankful and blessed for everything that I get and in everything that I do. So I won’t leave with any regrets. It was a great decision to come here."...

    Dante Fowler, Jr., thanked Florida fans in a half-page ad in The Gainesville Sun.
  6. Gators will have to wait until National Signing Day for Byron Cowart's decision

    Blog

    Gators fans eager to know where Armwood DE Byron Cowart will attend college will have to wait until Naitonal Signing Day to find out for sure.

    Cowart, the nation's No. 1 recruit, will be among 17 high school football players who will announce their decisions live on ESPNU's National Signing Day Special.

    Cowart has narrowed his choices to Auburn and Florida and will announce his decision at 9 a.m....

  7. Gators' Mike Holloway to be inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame

    Blog

    Florida track and field coach Mike Holloway is one of six Ohio natives who will be inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame tonight.

    Holloway has helped lead the Gators to five national championships since 2010 and seven SEC titles as head coach of the Gators track and field program.

    He was also a member of the Team USA staff at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2013 World Championships in Moscow....

  8. Billy Donovan sees growth and improvement in Chris Walker

    Blog

    When Chris Walker arrived in Gainesville as a highly-touted recruit last fall, expectations were extremely high for the 6-foot-10 McDonald's All American from Bonifay.

    Despite pleas by coach Billy Donovan to keep the hype in check, Walker was heralded as a star in the making who was going to provide instant help for the Gators.

    But after sitting out due to NCAA sanctions for improper benefits before he arrived in Gainesville, Walker played just 18 games as a freshman and struggled to make a significant impact - averaing 1.9 points and 1.7 rebounds. ...

  9. Billy Donovan encouraging Gators to play "desperate"

    Blog

    When Florida junior guard Michael Frazier described the Gators as "desperate"  for a victory earlier this week, many assumed he meant the Gators were badly in need of a win to stop a three-game losing streak.

    And in some ways, he was.

    But Florida coach Billy Donovan said too many took Frazier's words in a negative connotation. Donovan doesn't see anything negative about it.

    "I think what (Michael) was saying is I think that our team last year played that way," Donovan said. "He's referencing that we played desperate for every game and I think that you need to play the game desperate."...

  10. Gators Eli Carter on his injured nose, the starting lineup and friendship with Kyrie Irving

    Blog

    Florida guard Eli Carter had a nice conversation with a friend shortly after a major accomplishment Wednesday night.

    Carter had a FaceTime conversation with Kyrie Irving after the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard scored a career-high 55 points in a win over Portland Wednesday.

    Irving and Carter are childhood friends.

    ...

  11. Gators women's basketball team seeking first victory over Missouri tonight

    Blog

    Coming off an emotional 72-58 win over Arkansas, the Florida women's basketball team is hoping to build on that momentum when it hosts Missouri tonight at the O'Connell Center.

    The game will be televised on the SEC Network, and tipoff is at 7 p.m.

    The Gators' victory on Sunday ended a four-game losing streak.

    "Our kids just worked so, so, very hard in practice it was great to see it carry over into the game and to see them get that they deserved," coach Amanda Butler said.

    While the victory was critical for the Gators' overall record (10-10, 2-5 SEC), what Butler is hoping most is that it also serves as a catalyst for improvement in her team's mentality as well.

    "I think it's always important when you win games for various reasons, obviously your record and your positioning and all that sort of thing," Butler said. "But I think it is a little more subtle, and if you've ever been a competitor you understand that. You can work really, really hard but at the end of it all, getting the win and experiencing success in that black and white objective column is sometimes more powerful than some of those other ideas that we try to make important. I think it was really, really important for our team. I think they knew they deserved the win, but I think they knew they were going to have to perform to get the win."

    "I think it puts us in a great place mentally for another great battle, a team we've already faced and didn't play very well against at their place," Butler added. "What's going on between your ears is so much more important than the physical aspects of the game."

    Missouri is one of only two SEC teams Florida has yet to defeat (joining Texas A&M). The two programs had never met prior to the Tigers joining the SEC in the 2013-14 season, but Missouri was won all three meetings between the two schools.

    The two last met on Jan. 11, with Mizzou earning a 66-47 victory. Florida hed the Tigers to just 2-of-12 from 3-point range and had a 24-22 first half lead. But Missouri opened the second half with 3-pointers on its first six buckets – and seven of its first eight – to take a lead Florida couldn't overcome.

    It was the only time this season the Gators have lost a game after leading at halftime.

    Defending the 3-point line will be critical tonight. In the three previous games, the Tigers have shot 28-of-70 (40 percent) from beyond the arc.

    "They are a team that really challenges you defensively to make plays from the perimeter," Butler said. "They really, really pack it in. They also challenge you defensively to defend the 3-point line consistently - the 3-point line and beyond. And they really, really make you pay if you don't do that consistently."



    ...

  12. Gators get one class among Scout's Top 10 since 2001

    Blog

    In recognizing its 13 years of recruiting coverage, Scout.com decided to rank the Top 10 classes in its history.

    It might come as surprise, but the 2006 class headlined by Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin didn't make the cut.

    According to Jamie Newberg, Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst, two other Florida teams were ranked higher.

    So which Gators team made the list, and where?...

  13. Gators softball preparing to open season as defending national champs and preseason No. 1

    Blog

    The Gators' defending national champion softball team will begin the 2015 season ranked No. 1 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25. Florida earned 15 of 20 first-place votes in the preseason rankings.

    The Gators also are ranked No. 1 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Preseason poll.

    None of this comes as a surprise to coach Tim Walton. Now entering his 10th season, Walton has elevated the program to the level where lofty expectations and title runs are the norm....

  14. Florida State-Wake Forest basketball preview

    College

    .Tonight

    Florida State vs. Wake Forest

    When/where: 7; Tucker Center, Tallahassee

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 1040-AM

    Records: Wake Forest 9-11, 1-6 ACC; FSU 10-10, 2-5

    Notable: FSU returns home for only its third ACC home game of the season after playing five of its first seven on the road. … The Seminoles have won six of their past seven meetings against the Demon Deacons. … In two games last week, FSU freshman Xavier Rathan-Mayes averaged 26 points, 5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 3 steals while shooting 51 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range. … Wake Forest is looking for its first conference road win of the season. … Wake junior F Devin Thomas is the only ACC player averaging a double double this season with 13.1 points and 10 rebounds....

  15. Former FAMU coach sues, citing Will Muschamp's contract as example

    Blog

    Former Florida A&M football coach Earl Holmes is suing the university for wrongful termination.

    Holmes is asking to be paid the remainder of the money owed on his contract — $400,000 over two years — plus other damages.

    And he's using former Florida coach Will Muschamp's contract as proof he should be paid.

    According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee attorney Tim Jansen said Holmes had a four-year contract to coach FAMU football and that former athletic director Kellen Winslow — who resigned on Dec. 15 — chose not to "comply with the terms of the contract."...