Wed, 25 May 2022

Florida breaks through with victory over South Carolina

Field Level Media
16 Jan 2022, 06:40 GMT+10

Florida's Phlandrous Fleming Jr. and Kowacie Reeves each scored 14 points as the Gators broke into the Southeastern Conference win column with a 71-63 victory over South Carolina Saturday at Columbia, S.C.

After falling 64-58 on Wednesday at home to No. 12 LSU, the Gators (10-6, 1-3 SEC) dropped their first three conference games since the 1980-81 season.

On Saturday, Florida limited the Gamecocks to 34.7 percent shooting (26 of 75) and kept its SEC losing streak from reaching four, a mark that would have matched the 1950-51 team's start.

South Carolina (10-6, 1-3), which led for only 17 seconds at 2-0, trailed by as many as 13 in the first half and cut the deficit to four in the second half at 52-48 with 9:26 remaining. But the Gators advantage reached double digits again at 60-49 just over four minutes later.

Florida's Colin Castleton had 10 points and seven rebounds. The Michigan transfer also matched a career-high with eight blocked shots.

Florida made 55.1 percent of its shots (27 of 49) and owned a 34-20 scoring edge in the paint as the Gators won for just the fourth time in their past 10 games.

Losing for just the second time in nine home outings, South Carolina received 12 points from Chico Carter Jr. and 10 from Erik Stevenson. Keyshawn Bryant had eight rebounds.

Florida blocked 11 shots to South Carolina's three and held an assist advantage of 17-10.

In the first half, South Carolina missed 11 of 14 shots, allowing Florida to build a 12-8 lead seven minutes into the game. A steal by Myreon Jones and a 3-pointer by Elijah Kennedy gave the Gators their first double-digit lead at 21-10 with 11:04 remaining in the first half.

Florida held its first 13-poingt lead at 33-20 when Jones launched a long jumper above the top of the key with 2:49 left in the half.

However, Devin Carter's jumper and Jacobi Wright's 3-pointer cut South Carolina's deficit to 36-28 on an 11-5 run to reach halftime.

--Field Level Media

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