No. 22 Gators stumble late, fall to Gamecocks, 72-66
Florida loss ends four-game winning streak
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Playing as a ranked team for the first time this season, No. 22 Florida fell victim to a 13-1 South Carolina run to finish the game and lost Wednesday’s SEC matchup at the O’Connell Center, 72-66. Florida drops to 10-5 overall, 6-4 in the SEC. The Gators had won four in a row and five of their last six.
Florida shot only 40 percent from the field and connected on just seven of 25 shots from three-point range, yet was still in position to win the game in the final minutes. Tre Mann’s three-pointer gave the Gators a 61-59 lead with 7:36 remaining and Florida still led, 65-59 on a dunk by Omar Payne with 6:37 left. It turned out to be Florida’s final basket of the night.
Seventh Woods nailed a jumper to give South Carolina a 67-65 advantage with 3:12 to go and Keyshawn Bryant scored two buckets in the paint in the closing minutes to help the Gamecocks pull away. South Carolina was led by AJ Lawson’s 22 points.
Mann led the Gators with 17 points. Reigning SEC Player of the Week Colin Castleton was held to 11 points but was huge on the defensive end, with seven blocks.
Florida travels to LSU on Saturday in a rematch of the Gators’ 83-79 win on Jan. 2.
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