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Florida women's basketball struggling from behind the arc

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Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:00 am

The Gators have struggled from three-point range this season. But, much to the chagrin of coach Amanda Butler, that hasn’t stopped them from trying.

Through seven games, Florida is 33 of 130 (25.4 percent) from three-point range, attempting nearly 19 shots per game. Aside from Carlie Needles, who has made 19 of her 47 attempts, the Gators are shooting 16.9 percent.

“We’ve got to be a little bit more judicious and have a little bit more discernment in our shot selection,” Butler said. “If you’re settling for a three, then you’ve got to look at that a little bit closer and make a good decision.”

Butler has a simple fix: get the ball inside more often.

In Florida’s 74-58 loss to Arizona State on Sunday, the Sun Devils outscored the Gators 50-24 in the paint.

UF made just 1 of 9 three-point attempts, which continued a trend that has bothered Butler this season.

“Sydney (Moss) is the perfect example,” Butler said. “She is really hard to guard in the paint. She’s really hard to guard off the dribble. But you’re not as hard to guard behind the three-point line.”

Senior Jennifer George plays the largest role in ensuring the offense runs as the coaching staff hopes.

George is averaging a team-leading 13.5 points per game and is the focal point of UF’s low-post offense. As the lone senior, she knows her role is critical to the team’s success.

“I need to step up,” George said. “I set the tone. I need to take more pride in my offense and defense down low.”

Needles, the only bright spot for Florida’s three-point shooting this season, said Butler urged the Gators to understand that open shots are not necessarily good shots.

“You have to find the people that have been making shots,” Needles said. “People have been playing zone to keep the ball away from Jennifer, but we need to work and stay key to what makes us successful.”

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