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Tuesday, January 25, 2022
<p>Florida point guard Lanita Bartley led the Gators with 17 points and 10 rebounds in a 84-55 win against Ole Miss on Sunday.</p>

Florida point guard Lanita Bartley led the Gators with 17 points and 10 rebounds in a 84-55 win against Ole Miss on Sunday.

Lanita Bartley was the best player on the court in Florida's tilt against Ole Miss.

She harassed the Rebels in the full-court press, grabbed rebounds among the big bodies in the paint and scored seemingly at will in the Gators' 84-55 victory Sunday.

"We take pride in our defense and I think that's real personal to [Bartley]," coach Amanda Butler said.

"We always have a chance to beat anyone we're playing … because of the competitive spirit we have at the point guard position, and she's certainly a giant part of that."

Bartley led Florida with 17 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, recording her first ever double-double.

She also chipped in a team-best four assists and one steal.

"I just like to crash," Bartley said. "I just make sure my other guard is back and then I get to crash."

While the senior guard dominated from a statistical standpoint, Bartley's greatest contribution was her court presence, particularly in the transition game.

Bartley played 29 minutes Sunday and in that time, Florida dominated Ole Miss defensively. With Bartley on the court, the Gators outscored the Rebels 67-40 and forced 12 of the visiting squad's 13 turnovers.

Conversely, Florida's advantage shrunk to 17-15 sans Bartley.

"She's a fighter and plays with a chip on her shoulder," Butler said. "That's the only way that you can be five-foot-whatever and get 10 rebounds."

While Bartley played her best game of the season, she was not the only senior to step up against Ole Miss.

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Center Azania Stewart turned in her best offensive performance of the year, putting up 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

Stewart's effort marks her second consecutive game with double-digit points and brings her average in the Gators' last five contests to 9.2 points per game.

"I'm having great practices," Stewart said. "(I am) just trying to be a threat all the time and posting hard. It sets up my next play."

Stewart also grabbed seven rebounds, putting her third behind Bartley and redshirt senior forward Ndidi Madu for the game.

Madu pulled down eight boards and scored eight points, coming just one basket short of three straight games with double-digit scoring.

She also matched her career-high with four assists, tying with Bartley for the team lead.

Led by Stewart and Madu, UF won the battle in the paint 36-26.

"We wanted [the post] to be our first line of attack," Butler said. "Let's go right at the block. Let's make them stop us there."

A comfortable lead in the second half allowed Florida to give significant minutes to its bench.

Every Gator that suited up scored against the Rebels for the second consecutive game and the fifth time this season.

The player that took greatest advantage of her increased time was sophomore guard Brittany Shine.

She matched her season-high total of 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, boosted by a 67 percent clip from beyond the arc.

"Shine takes great pride in her offensive game and being such an instant offensive threat," Butler said. "She really just plays with great confidence."

Contact Joe Morgan at joemorgan@alligator.org.

Florida point guard Lanita Bartley led the Gators with 17 points and 10 rebounds in a 84-55 win against Ole Miss on Sunday.

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