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Monday, May 29, 2023

The injuries are mounting for the UF women's basketball team.

Freshman Ndidi Madu is done for the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee during Sunday?s practice.

The team?s fears were confirmed by an MRI on Monday morning.

The 6-foot-1 forward looked poised to give the Gators depth in the paint, playing 20 minutes against Xavier on Friday night.

BInjuries are part of the game,C UF coach Amanda Butler said. BIs it unfortunate that we can?t go as deep as we?d like? Certainly, it is.C

UF has only three post players available to them right now - junior forward Marshae Dotson, junior center Aneika Henry and freshman center Ebonie Crawford.

The Gators are fortunate that Dotson?s fractured nose doesn?t seem to be giving her problems. The junior looked good as new with her monster stat line Monday night (25 points, 16 rebounds).

UF is still missing sophomore forward Sharielle Smith and sophomore guard Jennifer Mossor.

Mossor has been out since Oct. 27 with a broken left pinkie, and Smith, a projected starter, has been out since Oct. 31 with a stress fracture in her left foot.

Lack of depth means more minutes for others, and Butler hopes the team?s fitness will help carry the load.

Still, the quickly declining depth may have played a part in the Butler?s choice to keep the Gators in zone for larger portions of Monday?s game, compared to a mostly man-to-man defensive scheme in Friday?s victory against Xavier.

BWe?re always going to do what makes sense in terms of the big picture,C Butler said.

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UF did continue to press some Monday, however, and continually looked to push the ball offensively.

Butler noted that the team?s style of play will not see drastic changes.

BWe?re going to keep attacking, we?re going to keep aggressive and when someone gets tired, we?ll find someone on the bench to go in for them,C she said.

THE FAST AND THE SLOPPY: The Gators? fast play is making its mark on the stat sheet, especially in the turnover department.

UF committed 14 and 19 turnovers in their games Friday and Monday, respectively.

Then again, this isn?t far off last year?s average of 17.2 per game.

Butler attributed some of the mistakes to Robert Morris? increased pressure compared to Xavier.

BThat?s the first time we?ve faced that,C she said of the Colonials. BThat?s some lessons that we?ll learn. … I think that we?re a team that should be very hard to press.C

THREE-POINT WOES: Shots have not been falling from beyond the arc for the Gators. UF is 5 for 25 through the first two games, but Butler doubts the team will have many nights like Monday, when they went 1 for 11.

BWe?re not going to stop shooting,C she said. BOne of the things that I think makes this team special … is they play very confidently. They all think when the ball is in their hands that they?re going to make a play for us.C

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