Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - The red-hot Florida Gators put their
flawless SEC record on the line on Wednesday evening, as they welcome the
South Carolina Gamecocks to Gainesville for a conference showdown at the
By virtue of their current eight-game win streak, Florida continues to climb
the national polls, beginning this week as the fourth-ranked team in the
country. The Gators are an impressive 16-2 on the year and haven't lost since
a 67-61 setback to Kansas State on Dec. 22. UF has won all six of its SEC
matchups thus far, including an 82-47 rout of Mississippi State this past
weekend in Starkville.
The Gamecocks lack the wave of momentum that Florida brings into this game,
although South Carolina does come in off a victory, a 75-54 lopsided win over
Arkansas last Saturday. Still, USC is buried in the SEC standings at a mere
2-4. The team is 12-7 overall, but just 1-3 in true road games.
Florida has won three straight and 10 of the last 13 meetings to move to 39-22
all-time against South Carolina. The Gators are 18-7 against the Gamecocks at
Brian Richardson put up 20 points and six rebounds off the bench, leading the
Gamecocks to a rather easy victory over the Razorbacks at Colonial Life Arena
on Saturday. The margin of victory marked the team's largest in conference
play for USC since 2009. Bruce Ellington and Lakeem Jackson played integral
roles in the win as well, finishing with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
The Gamecocks have been mediocre at best offensively, averaging 71.6 ppg, on
.444 shooting. To make matters worse, leading scorer LaShay Page (11.7 ppg)
has not been able to suit up since the beginning of January due to academics
and will be out the rest of the season. Brenton Williams is a close second on
the roster, now netting 11.6 ppg. Ellington and Jackson are just under the
double-digit mark at 9.7 and 9.6 ppg, respectively. Jackson, who is shooting a
team-best .615 from the floor, is also the team's top rebounder, grabbing 7.1
caroms per outing.
Florida put on an offensive clinic including draining 14 3-pointers in the
lopsided win over the Bulldogs this past weekend. Kenny Boynton and Erik
Murphy combined for eight of those 3-pointers and netted 18 points each in the
win. Patric Young and Scottie Wilbekin added 13 points apiece in support. The
Gators got the job done defensively as well, holding its seventh opponent
under 50 points this season.
The Gators are one of the nation's premier defensive squads, holding opponents
to a mere 51.2 ppg (third nationally), on just .361 shooting (fifth
nationally). The team has also done a great job on the glass, boasting of a
+8.6 rebounding margin. Scoring depth comes in the form of four of five
starters averaging double figures. Boynton leads the way with 13.6 ppg. Murphy
ranks second on the team with 12.8 ppg, followed by Mike Rosario and Young at
11.8 and 11.2 ppg, respectively.
The Sports Network