Gamecocks Drop 79-65 Decision To No. 19 Florida
Jan. 14, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina dropped a 79-65 decision to No. 19 Florida in SEC action at the Colonial Life Arena Saturday night. South Carolina falls to 8-9 (0-3 SEC) while Florida improves to 14-4 (2-1 SEC).
South Carolina sophomore Bruce Ellington knocked down a game-high 17 points in his first start of the season, and Malik Cooke added 10 points and seven rebounds. Six of the seven Gators to score on the night hit double figures scoring in the game.
The two teams played to a near even first half that saw South Carolina shoot 60 percent and Florida shoot 54.5 percent from the field. The Gators made six 3's in the opening 10 minutes of the game to push out to a 26-18 lead, but the Gamecocks fought back with an 11-4 run to cut the score to 30-29 with five minutes remaining.
The teams swapped leads for the remainder of the half until Brenton William's three-pointer with 46 seconds remaining gave the Gamecocks a four-point lead en route to a 41-40 advantage going into the break.
Florida opened the second half on an 18-3 run with South Carolina having difficulty finding the shooting touch that helped it gain the lead in the first half. After hitting 15-of-24 shots in the first half, the Gamecocks were held to 8-of-31 (25.8 percent) in the second half. Florida pushed its lead to as many as 17 points with a 71-54 lead before South Carolina shot its way back for the second consecutive game, but the Gamecocks couldn't push the game closer than 10 as Florida took the 79-65 victory.
South Carolina hits the road again next Saturday when the team takes travels to Auburn. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on the SEC Network.