Carolina

Gators dominate in 81-60 win over South Carolina

Things went right for the home Gators on Wednesday as they made the leap to the South Carolina Gamecocks from up front, never relieving pressure and ultimately won by a score of 81-60. South Carolina went into the game losing 5 of their last 6 and struggled offensively throughout that stretch, and it wasn’t a good matchup for a Florida team that excelled on defense. Suppressing everything the Gamecocks could put together offensively, the Gators were able to protect their side of the ground, which translated into easy transition opportunities at the other end and contributed to their highest score. South Carolina may be the easiest game on the schedule, but the Gators were able to take care of business and win with ease that will leave a sigh of relief for the team and fans alike.

groundbreaking

Myreon Jones had a career night ending with 9 points, 8 assists, 10 rebounds and flirting with a triple double. Coach Todd Golden actually kept him in the game in the final minutes, designing plays to try and give him the assists that could help him reach the milestone, but Jones wasn’t quite able to get there. Although he didn’t make the triple double, it was still an outstanding game and it continues a run Jones has where he plays some of the best basketball of his career. The three-pointer he was once known for still doesn’t come, but his defense and style of play were outstanding, which comes as a bit of a shock after both elements lacked in his freshman year in Florida. Jones’ rise as a quality ball handler and defender was tremendous once the Gators began turning their season, and he deserves plenty of credit.

parts of the rock

Jones wasn’t the only player to dish at a high level, as the Gators had 21 assists from 31 field goals scored, a healthy ratio any coach would be happy to have. Assist count is a season high, and Florida’s ability to move the ball is helping their offense, which needed a bit of a jolt after stagnating for much of the season. In addition to Jones, Trey Bonham (4 assists), Kyle Lofton (3 assists), and Colin Castleton (3 assists) also really contributed in the playmaker category. What made things even better was the fact that Florida only had 6 turnovers and that high ball security meant South Carolina could never get into a rhythm.

Niels Lane sighting

After a month and a half of inactivity, wing Niels Lane got a rare opportunity to see the bottom. Unfortunately for Lane, he was pretty terribly lucky with a number of questionable fouls being called out on him, including one play where he was punched in the face and given a technician for some mysterious reason alongside the South Carolina player who hit him . This insult to injury contributed to a frustrating game that saw Lane foul 5 minutes into the game after finally getting a chance to see the ground. It’s unknown if he’ll get another chance to prove his skills in the upcoming games, especially given the very difficult task that awaits the Gators.

Final Thoughts

Florida’s shaky NCAA tournament résumé has left them very little room for error at the moment, and a loss to South Carolina, which is in the low 200s of the NET, would have been truly devastating. However, the Gators had no trouble at all and won that game easily and that’s what one would hope for. They even managed to pick up a few points, and for an offensive game with very little rhythm at the moment, that must be encouraging. Hopefully this game – particularly the offensive performance – will give the Gators some momentum going forward.

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