Florida Gators men’s, women’s basketball both surprising, surging at just the right time

Don’t look now, but Florida Gators men’s basketball might be on the cusp of turning things around after a very difficult final year under Billy Donovan. Oh, and the Florida women’s basketball team? It’s in the process of what could potentially be the best season in program history.

Before the 2015-16 season began, new Gators coach Mike White was careful not to predict much success for his team, especially considering he’d only spent so much time with his players during offseason practices.

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Florida Gators women’s basketball enters AP Top 25 for first time since 2009

Florida Gators women’s basketball bounced back from its 76-70 loss to ranked Mississippi State in a major way, earning an upset win over Tennessee (74-66) on Thursday before throttling Ole Miss (85-65) on Sunday.

At 14-2 with victories over two top-ranked opponents this season, Florida on Monday reentered the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 2009. The Gators checked in at No. 20, receiving 134 voting points over 18 ballots.

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Gators topple Lady Vols, winning (a big) one for absent coach Amanda Butler

Thursday night in Knoxville, Tennessee, was what athletic director Jeremy Foley and head coach Amanda Butler hope is the culmination of a strong belief the former had that the latter could turn around the Florida Gators women’s basketball program despite not showing much proof that such a change in fortunes was on the horizon.

It was unfortunate that neither was there to see it.

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Retiring U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach set to play final international match Wednesday

The legendary and unforgettable international career of former Florida Gators soccer star Abby Wambach officially ends Wednesday when Wambach suits up for the final time with the U.S. Women’s National Team to compete against China in a friendly hosted in New Orleans (8 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1).

The all-time international goal-scoring leader, who announced her pending retirement on Oct. 27, called her career an “amazing, wonderful ride.”

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Abby Wambach, United States and Florida Gators soccer star, announces retirement

Abby Wambach, arguably the greatest soccer player in United States history and unarguably the world’s all-time leading goal scorer (male or female), announced Tuesday that she will retire on Dec. 16, ending her storied and tremendously successful career at the age of 35.

“After much deliberation and talking with my friends, family, teammates and our coaching staff, I’ve decided to finally bring my soccer career to an end,” said Wambach. “While we still have more work to do for women’s soccer, after bringing the World Cup back to the United States this summer, I’m feeling extremely optimistic about the future of our sport. It’s been an amazing, wonderful ride and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of my life brings.”

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WATCH: Florida Gators soccer player scores thrilling buzzer-beater goal in double overtime

No. 8 Florida Gators soccer saw a double-overtime duel against the No. 17 South Carolina Gamecocks come to as thrilling and dramatic a conclusion as possible Friday night at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

Faced with an impending draw in the final seconds of the game, the Gators pulled out a shocking victory as junior midfielder Liz Slattery corralled a rebound in the box and fired it into the back of the net as time expired.

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Florida Gators put out call to audition walk-on kickers; former walk-on already set to tryout

The Florida Gators need help at kicker. As much was made obvious Monday when the team’s recruiting-centric Twitter account put out an all-points bulletin calling for current students to sign up for tryouts.

Redshirt freshman walk-on Jorge Powell, who had been playing in place of redshirt junior Austin Hardin (hip flexor), suffered an injury of his own Saturday at LSU and missed the remainder of the game. Though Hardin was able to step in and play – he traveled with the team to Baton Rouge, Louisiana – his presence may not be enough for the Gators for the remainder of the season.

No status update was available on Powell as Florida did not hold its normal Monday afternoon press conference due to the bye week. However, head coach Jim McElwain should address the kicker’s status by Wednesday’s SEC teleconference at the latest.

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A conversation with the Florida Gators’ executive associate AD: Changes to football and basketball

On the heels of one of the biggest transitional offseasons in program history, Florida Gators executive associate athletic director Mike Hill sat down with OnlyGators.com for 45 minutes to discuss chances to the football and basketball programs, the inner workings of the University Athletic Association and whether athletic director Jeremy Foley really is that resistant to special uniforms for the football team.

Hill, who has just begun his 23rd season at Florida, is also largely responsible for the Gators’ basketball scheduling, which has been turned upside down due to changes in renovation plans for the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

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