February 10, 2018 / 7:45 PM / 9 months ago

Florida uses balanced attack to steamroll South Carolina

Senior point guard Chris Chiozza had 12 points and seven rebounds as Florida steamrolled South Carolina 65-41 on Saturday in SEC play at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C.

Junior guard Jalen Hudson also scored 12 points as the Gators led by as many as 27 points in the easy victory. Florida (17-8, 8-4 SEC) pummeled South Carolina on the boards with a 46-24 rebounding edge.

Senior guard Frank Booker scored 17 points for the Gamecocks (13-12, 4-8), who dropped their fifth consecutive contest. Junior power forward Chris Silva added 10 points, five rebounds and five blocked shots for South Carolina.

The Gamecocks shot a woeful 27.8 percent from the field, including 2 of 13 from 3-point range. South Carolina was 9 of 15 from the free-throw line.

Florida shot 46.2 percent from the field and rejected 10 shots. Sophomore forward Keith Stone led the way with three blocks.

The victory allowed Florida to avenge a 77-72 home loss to the Gamecocks last month to split the season series.

South Carolina also famously defeated the Gators in last season’s NCAA Tournament to reach the Final Four for the first time in school history.

The Gators had a 22-10 rebounding edge in the first half while taking a 41-20 lead into the break.

Florida began assuming control with a 16-2 surge to open up a 14-point lead. The run was capped by a layup from Chiozza to make it 21-7 with 7:12 left in the first half.

A dunk by freshman guard Deaundrae Bassett increased the Gators’ lead to 32-16 with 3:27 left. A 3-pointer by Hudson made it 39-18 and Florida again led by 21 at halftime.

South Carolina trailed by 17 after freshman forward Justin Minaya’s basket with 15:06 to play but Florida answered with a 13-4 push to make it 58-32. Hudson scored the final five points of that burst.

Sophomore forward Maik Kotsar connected on a jumper with 9:27 left before the Gamecocks went the remainder of the contest without making another one as they missed their final nine shots. Kotsar’s basket was South Carolina’s only one over its last 15 field-goal attempts.

—Field Level Media

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