No. 4 Florida thumps South Carolina
No. 4 FLORIDA 75, SOUTH CAROLINA 36
By MARK LONG
Associated PressGAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario scored 15 points apiece and No. 4 Florida dominated another Southeastern Conference opponent, drubbing South Carolina 75-36 Wednesday night.
The Gators, who won their ninth game in a row, led 33-10 at halftime and made their first five shots after the break. They opened a 31-point lead that seemingly couldn’t get any more lopsided.
Then it did.
Florida (17-2, 7-0 SEC) pulled ahead 55-15 on Scottie Wilbekin’s floater in the lane with 12:32 remaining, sending the happy home crowd to the exits even earlier than usual this season.
The Gamecocks (12-8, 2-5), meanwhile, seemed dazed on the floor and the bench.
Michael Carrera led South Carolina with 13 points and nine rebounds. None of his teammates reached double figures.
The Gators have enjoyed seven blowouts in as many conference games. They won the first six by an average of 26.5 points. This one made those seem like nail-biters.
“They did the same thing they’ve done to every opponent this year,” South Carolina coach Frank Martin said. “They’re rock solid; they’re sound.”
Florida overwhelmed South Carolina from the opening tip, doing just about everything right.
Florida led 11-2 in the first 6 minutes of the game, pulled ahead 21-4 at the halfway point of the first half and probably could have named their score after that.
The Gamecocks had three baskets, two assists and 11 turnovers at the break. Guards Bruce Ellington and Eric Smith had four points between them, combining to go 1 for 9 from the field. They also combined for seven turnovers and no assists.
South Carolina shot 31 percent from the field, went 2 of 14 from 3-point range and finished with 17 turnovers. The Gamecocks were outrebounded 38-24 and lost for the fifth time in their last seven games.