Bonds says Gators ready for Vols

Florida’s Jaterra Bonds said she doesn’t think playing two games in two days will negatively affect the Gators, even if they are playing Tennessee.

The Gators (18-13) advanced in the SEC women’s basketball tournament with a 64-59 victory over Arkansas on Thursday at Gwinnett Arena. They will take on the top-seeded Lady Vols (23-6) at noon Friday.

“Whoever wants to win more will win the game,” she said. “You can’t let fatigue be a factor. You have to trust your training to give you confidence.”

Tennessee knocked off Florida 78-75 in overtime in their only previous meeting this season.

Florida coach Amanda Butler said she scheduled three games in three days in November to prepare her team for tournament situations. The Gators defeated N.C. State and Northern Iowa before losing to Arizona State in that situation.

“Fatigue can’t be in the mix of things that will have an impact on the game,” she said.

“We’ve already experienced that and handled it quite well for a young team.”

Poor shooting: South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said to defeat Texas A&M on Friday her Gamecocks must shoot better than they did in the teams' previous meeting.

South Carolina shot 28.1 percent in a 50-48 loss in Columbia. In what may be a good sign, South Carolina made 50.9 percent of its field-goal attempts in Thursday’s 77-35 victory over Alabama.

“We came down here to win an SEC Championship,” Staley said. “We’re focused in on what we need to do to try to get that SEC Championship, something our program has yet to achieve.

“So however we need to play, however many buckets we need to get, rebounds we need to get, how many hustle plays we need to make, we’ll be up for the challenge to make those.”

More poor shooting, but some defense Vanderbilt defeated Missouri 53-40 to improve to 20-10 this season, the 14th consecutive season it has won at least 20 games. The Commodores shot just 26.8 percent, but won with defense, holding the Tigers without a field goal for almost eight minutes in the second half.

"Obviously I'm really pleased with our defense and the ability to continue to defend when shooting probably the poorest I've ever had a team shoot in the first half," coach Melanie Balcomb said of her team's 17.1 percent effort.

The Commodores advanced to play Kentucky, which defeated them 75-53 earlier this year. Christina Foggie said the key will be for the Commodores to limit their turnovers.

Etc: Liz Smith scored the first Missouri basket in SEC tournament history 50 seconds into the game.

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