WOMEN's HOOPS: Defense leads UF to 6th Straight

The Gators continued their warmup for the rigorous Southeastern Conference schedule Sunday afternoon, subduing Oregon State, 82-70, at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center on the strength of another strong defensive effort and a 16-4 run over the final minutes of the first half and the opening minutes of the second.

That offensive run gave UF a 12-point lead with a little less than 18 minutes remaining in the game and the Beavers never again got closer than 10. It was their second straight game that the Gators have turned on the offensive jets for a decisive scoring run to put a game away.

Junior forward/center Brittany Davis of Gainesville led Florida with a career-high 20 points. She got plenty of assistance with the offensive load from junior Bernice Mosby, whose third double-double of the season was good for 20 points and 10 rebounds. Tamia Williams had 12 points and Dalila Eshe 10 to round out a solid scoring effort for UF.

During Florida's decisive run, Davis had 6 points, a block and two rebounds, while Mosby had four points, three boards and an assist.

For the third straight game, it was Florida's defense that made the biggest difference. In each of the last three games, the Gators have forced at least 20 turnovers. Sunday's efforts produced 27 turnovers by Oregon State.

"We did a good job of creating position problems up front and our guards were able to get some steals," Peck explained.

Junior guards Sarah Lowe and Danielle Santos swarmed all over the Oregon State guards as they tied career highs in steals with six and five respectively.

It was a good thing the Gators were able to force so many mistakes by Oregon State because once the ball got in the hands of Shannon Howell, the Gators had more than they could handle. The senior poured in 36 points on 11-24 shooting that included four three-pointers. She also did her part defensively, too, racking up seven steals.

"Shannon Howell is a phenomenal player," Peck said. "I was proud of our team because we didn't allow the rest of their team to score much. We really shared the ball and built energy off of each other's play."

Aside from Howell, only Kim Butler finished in double figures with 14 points for Oregon State.

"Our players were operating faster than they're used to," Oregon State Coach Judy Spoelstra said. "We tried to run some zone to slow [UF] down but Mosby was able to drive in and make the shot."

The Gators take the week off for final exams before taking the court again December 19 against nationally-ranked Baylor in Waco, Texas.

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