4 BITS: Every, women’s basketball, gymnastics

By Adam Silverstein
March 23, 2014

1 » Former Florida Gators golfer Matt Every on Sunday clinched his first-ever PGA Tour victory, winning the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, FL. Every, whose third-round 66 vaulted him into the lead, finished -13 for the tournament and edged Keegan Bradley by a single stroke. The victory results in him receiving earnings of $1.12 million (more than he has made in the rest of his career, combined), 500 FedEx Cup points and an automatic qualification to the 2014 Masters in April. A native of Daytona Beach, FL, Every played at Bay Hill dozens of times throughout his life and long dreamed of winning a PGA Tour event at the course, which is located about an hour from where he grew up.

At Florida from 2003-06, Every was a four-time All-American and three-time first-team All-SEC selection. He is the second former Gators golfer to capture a PGA Tour event title in as many years after Billy Horschel won the 2013 Zurich Classic last April.

2 » While men’s basketball has the nation’s respect as the No. 1 overall team in the nation, Florida women’s basketball (20-12) received an 11-seed in its 2014 NCAA Tournament but made the most of its placement on Sunday with an 83-69 upset victory over the six-seed Dayton Flyers (23-8). Redshirt sophomore guard Cassie Peoples led the way for UF with 21 points and six assists. However, she was just one of five Gators starters to score in double figures on Sunday when Florida trailed by 12 with 15:12 to play before going on to outscore Dayton 47-21 over the duration of the contest. Senior G Jaterra Bonds and freshman forward Ronni Williams each posted 15 points and combined for 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals. Redshirt junior G Kayla Lewis and redshirt sophomore G Carlie Needles each scored 11 points with Lewis adding 11 boards, three steals, two dimes and a block. UF advanced to the second round of the event for the second time in the last three seasons and will face three-seed Penn State (23-7) on Tuesday night.

3 » Gators gymnastics failed to win a league title for the first time since 2011, falling 197.875-197.770 to the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday in the 2014 Southeastern Conference Championship. Alabama outscored Florida on three of four disciplines, though two UF gymnasts did bring home three total individual titles. Junior Kytra Hunter won the floor exercise (9.95) and balance beam (9.925), while sophomore Bridget Sloan captured the all-around title (39.70). Sloan’s all-around title was her second in as many seasons, making her the first Gators gymnast since Melissa Miller (1988-89) to achieve that feat. Hunter finished second to Sloan in the all-around (39.65). Florida was looking for its third-straight SEC Championship and fourth in the last five seasons but now must regroup before competing in national regionals next weekend.

4 » A pair of Gators assistant coaches are considered candidates for vacant in-state head coaching jobs though both told members of the media this past week that they have not been contacted about the respective positions. Former Florida Atlantic assistant Matt McCall is widely considered to be a young up-and-comer and could find a spot back at FAU with head coach Mike Jarvis being handed his walking papers earlier this month. However, according to CBSSports.com, the Boca Raton, FL-based school has “centered its coaching search on Ohio State assistant Dave Dickerson.” Ex-Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey is completing his third season back as an assistant under Billy Donovan but could move on for the right situation. South Florida is currently looking for a new coach; Donovan and Louisville head coach Rick Pitino both endorsed Pelphrey for the job despite Manhattan’s Steve Masiello being considered the favorite to land the position.

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