#22 Gators face tough test in #12 Aggies

The Gators women’s basketball team is officially back in the polls.

Sunday’s win over the Kentucky Wildcats brought UF’s overall record to 18-4. In the SEC, the Gators are tied for second place with Mississippi State at 6-3 trailing only the undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks.

Right behind the Gators are the Aggies of Texas A&M (15-6, 5-3) who will be coming to the O’Connell Center Thursday night for a top 25 match-up.

At Monday’s press conference, Florida head coach Amanda Butler praised Texas A&M’s fundamentally sound squad.

"They are very good and they are very well coached. They are a senior-laden team that really understands who they are and what makes them good. They've been the team that has played South Carolina the closest and actually beat them the first time, but just had a miscue at the end of the game. They just do what they do,” said Butler.

“They are the best mid-range shooting team in the country and they have post players who dominate the low block and dominate the offensive glass. They are very complete. They understand what makes them one of the best teams in the country and they don't deviate from that."

The Gators will need another good defensive performance from their backcourt since the Aggies will be bringing G Courtney Walker (17.7 PPG) to the O’Dome. Walker has converted over half of her field goals and typically grabs about five or six rebounds a night.

Gator guards Simone Westbrook and Eleanna Christinaki lived up to the challenge of defending Kentucky’s speedy guards, but in order to stop Walker they will need to put a hand in her face every time she goes up for a shot.

Coach Butler elaborated on what Florida will try to do defensively, "There are a couple different things you try to do, but it's very difficult because we play defense typically to force uncontested mid-range jump shots and that's where they're great. We'll have to mix up some things that we do and just be really smart about our close-outs and make sure that our personnel awareness is high."

Although Florida has never beaten Texas A&M in their four meetings, the 2015-16 Gators definitely have what it takes to break the streak.

 

Key Players:

Gators F Ronni Williams – Look for Williams to set the tone offensively and defensively in the paint as the Aggies will center their game plan against Florida’s dynamic guards.

Aggies G/F Courtney Williams – Williams is second on the team in scoring and can shoot lights out from anywhere on the court. She’s a versatile player who can create big mismatches.


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