FOUR BITS: women’s bball, baseball, lax, NBA

1 » No. 9-seed Florida Gators women’s basketball (20-13) saw their season come to an end Tuesday night at the hands of the No. 1-seed Baylor Bears (36-0) and star center Brittney Griner. Florida fell 76-57 to Baylor in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament as Griner posted 25 points (on 8-of-14 shooting), nine rebounds, four assists and six blocks. She was just one of five Bears’ starters to score in double figures on the evening. The Gators were led by three seniors including C Azania Stewart, who scored 14 points and grabbed four boards. Classmates and guards Deana Allen and Lanita Bartley also scored in the double digits, adding 13 and 10 points, respectively. In addition to being knocked out of the tournament and having their season come to an end at the hands of the top team in the country, Florida was hit hard emotionally by Tuesday’s loss. Five seniors – Stewart, Allen, Bartley and redshirts G Jordan Jones and forward Ndidi Madu – played their final games in a Gators uniform.

2 » No. 1 Florida baseball (20-1) extended their school-record winning streak to 18 games with a 5-3 win over the Samford Bulldogs (13-8) on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Freshman right-handed pitcher Johnny Magliozzi (2-0) got the start and picked up the victory while tossing a career-high six strikeouts and allowing just one earned run on three hits in 4.0 innings. After giving up a run in the first inning, Magliozzi got some support as the Gators rallied to tie the game. Florida hit around for two more runs in the bottom of the second and – after Samford got within a single run of tying the game in the top of the seventh – added another in the next frame to solidify their lead. Junior catcher Mike Zunino (2/4, 2 RBI) drove home senior center fielder Daniel Pigott (1/3, 2 R) twice in the contest. Freshmen first baseman Taylor Gushue (1/4) and third baseman Josh Tobias (2/3, R) each batted runners in as well. Junior RHP Austin Maddox (S 7) came in for the final frame, striking out one of three batters he faced and clinching the victory.

3 » No. 5 Gators lacrosse (9-2) routed a fellow top-ranked opponent on Tuesday, defeating the No. 10 Dartmouth Big Green (5-1) in a 20-4 blowout at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville. Florida scored a school-record 17 first-half goals and registered eight-straight goals to end the contest including only three in the second period. UF’s 20 goals against Dartmouth were the most the team has ever scored against a ranked opponent in school history. Junior attacker Kitty Cullen led the Gators with a career-high eight points including five goals and three assists (she also added a career-high three ground balls to her total). Juniors As Ashley Bruns and Gabi Wiegand each had four goals, and midfielder Brittany Dashiell added three more.

4 » In his first mockup for the 2012 NBA Draft, ESPN Insider’s Chad Ford has Gators freshman G Bradley Beal slotted as the No. 4 overall pick heading to Portland. Though Ford notes that Beal “hasn’t had a dominant freshman season,” he believes that “his scoring ability in the backcourt” is something that is undeniable to NBA scouts. Ford is bullish on Beal’s potential in the pros and has been for quite some time, noting often that he expects him to go anywhere from fourth to sixth in the upcoming draft should he decide to leave school early. He also has sophomore center Patric Young listed as No 22 overall to Memphis even though he recently noted that he plans to return to school for his junior season. An extra year in college for Young could very well vault him into the lottery in 2013 should he improve his offense and all-around consistency.

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TWO BITS: Brombacher’s time, tennis’ victories

1 » Former Florida Gators softball pitcher Stacey Nelson was arguabally the greatest at her position in school history. But while Nelson was dominating opposing batters on the mound, now-junior Stephanie Brombacher was waiting in the wings to become her successor. Brombacher, the team’s No. 2 pitcher for two years, is now primed to lead the Gators, bringing her 42-0 career record with her. “I’m just anxious to get out there and take over the pitching spot and see what I can do with it,” Brombacher told The Gainesville Sun. “I’m excited. I can’t wait to start playing. After that first pitch, my nerves will calm down a little bit.” She hopes to lead Florida back to the Women’s College World Series, where they fell last season to the Washington Huskies in the finals.

2 » Gators men’s and women’s tennis were both in action Friday, and each took down a ranked opponent in their respective ITA National Team Indoor Championship events. The No. 11 men’s team (5-1) defeated the previously undefeated No. 6 Baylor Bears (5-1) 4-2 in the round of 16 to advance to the quarterfinals in Charlottesville, VA. The No. 10-ranked team of redshirt senior Antoine Benneteau and junior Alexandre Lacroix squeaked by with a 9-8 (3) win. Similarly, the No. 4 women’s team (7-0) was victorious over the No. 16 Michigan Wolverines (3-1) 5-2 in their round of 16 to advance to the quarterfinals. Florida swept all three doubles matches.

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TWO BITS: Playoff performances, tennis falls

1 » New Orleans Saints defensive end Bobby McCray is the only former Florida Gators football player to make his way out of the 2010 NFL Playoffs and into Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, FL. McCray and his team will face the Indianapolis Colts and star quarterback Peyton Manning in the grandest stage of them all. Also in action Sunday were Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin (five receptions for 38 yards, four rushes for 15 yards and one fumble) and New York Jets cornerback Lito Sheppard (two tackles). McCray has been a big-name over the last few weeks, delivering powerful hits to both Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner and Vikings QB Brett Favre.

2 » No. 11 Florida men’s tennis fell 5-2 to the No. 6 Baylor Bears on Sunday at the Baylor Tennis Center in Waco, TX. Senior Antoine Benneteau held his own in singles competition, though junior Alexandre Lacroix fell in three sets to Denes Lukacs 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Lacroix and Benneteau, the No. 10-ranked doubles team in the country, continued their hot streak by winning their match 9-7. The Gators host the Furman Paladins on Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. The Georgia Tech yellow Jackets and Penn State Nittany Lions are also involved in the short tournament.

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