Hitting 55 percent of their shots Wednesday night, the Gators defeated South Carolina, 79-60 to take a commanding lead in the SEC East.
After four tight games, Florida (19-5, 8-2) finally got an easy one in Columbia as the shots started falling immediately. UF started the game on a 9-0 run and the Gamecocks (13-9, 4-5) never got close enough to challenge the Gators. Chandler Parsons continued his recent stretch of asserting himself on both ends of the floor. He had a double-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. Parsons' play has been the big difference in SEC play and can be the difference each night between a win and a loss.
Erving Walker led UF with 25 points, on a very good shooting night for him (7-9 FG, 4-5 3s, 7-9 FT). Vernon Macklin had 16 points and Kenny Boynton had 12. Macklin and Alex Tyus were out for long stretches, maybe because once UF had the game in the bag, Billy Donovan wanted to save his bigs for another day.
Three South Carolina players scored in double figures, but it took a lot to get there. Aside from a defensive miscue that nearly led to a buzzer-beater at the half, UF was very strong on both ends of the floor. UF didn't win the rebounding margin by a significant amount, but they handled the ball well and refused to commit fouls from lazy defense,
Florida is in a very strong position to win the East and the league. The next step towards that goal is Saturday night against Tennessee.