WOMEN's HOOPS: Defense sparks 4th straight win

With six games in the books for the 2004 year, it is evident that the Gators women's basketball team is going to prosper or falter on the defensive side of the basketball. Florida (4-2) lived the prosperous life Monday night, defeating Delaware State 71-47, behind a dominating defensive performance that saw the Gators force 20-plus turnovers for the third consecutive game.

"This was a good win for our team," said Coach Carolyn Peck, whose team won its fourth straight game, "especially with the quick turn-around time - only a day between playing Temple and Delaware State."

The Gators were able to convert 21 points off Delaware St.'s turnovers, eight of which came off steals. The Gators in your face defense smothered the Hornets, holding them to a dismal 34.8 per cent from the field.

The Gators shot poorly --- only 40 percent from the field --- but the points off turnovers and a dominating performance on the backboards overcame the offensive woes. In spire of the bad shooting night, however, three of the starting five scored in double figures.

Junior Brittany Davis of Gainesville led the Gators in scoring with a season-high 14 points on 5-8 shooting. Davis played tough under the boards offensive boards and her hot shooting night was capped by a 4-4 performance from the foul line.

Junior Bernice Mosby reached her twelfth career double-double and third of the season, finishing with 13 points and a season-high 15 rebounds.

The Hornets were within 12 points with less than nine minutes to go in the game before UF finished with a game-clinching 16-4 run. During that run, Davis and Mosby sparked the Gators with 10 of Florida's 16 points.

Although Florida won the game in easy fashion, Peck was impressed with what she saw of the visitors from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

"Delaware State has great tenacity and a toughness to them," Peck said. "We had to work tonight."

Also coming up big for the Gators last night was the big time perimeter duo from Saturday's game. Seniors Tishona Gregory and Tamia Williams chipped in 11 and 10 points after shooting a lights out game against Temple.

Offense is at a premium for a Gators team that will be led by the intangibles. Gregory recorded a team-high five assists and two steals, while Williams grabbed five rebounds coupled with three assists. A strong bench has been a recurring theme for Peck's team. Nine different players scored and recorded double-digit minutes.

But, this was a night when defense came though. For the Gators to continue to win, the defense is going to have to be the strength of the team.

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