Well, that was sure fun to watch.
The Gators (16-2, 3-0) looked as dominant as they could be today, blowing out a conference opponent in South Carolina on the road and making them look like one of those cupcakes scheduled during the first week of the season.
Led by Lee Humphrey's career-high 27 points, the Gators jumped out to a 12-0 lead to begin the game, and never looked back in an 84-50 win - despite the Gamecocks' Tre Kelley's best efforts in the first half.
Kelley scored 20 of the Gamecocks' 33 points in the first half, keeping the game within reach at 42-33 going into the halftime locker room. While the Gamecocks did their best to make this a game in the first half, being outscored 43-17 in the second half didn't help their cause at all.
Tre Kelley's first half outburst was only an afterthought in the end when compared to Humphrey's performance. Hitting his first 5 three pointers, and making 7 total on the day, Humphrey gave the Gators the early spark they needed and helped them pull away in the middle of the second half.
The second-half defense was another vital factor in the win today, as the Gators held the Gamecocks to 5-25 shooting (20%) in the final frame. The Gamecocks, fueld by Kelley, shot 59% in the first half. Second-half defense also keyed wins over Georgia and Arkansas for Florida.
This was a game that the Gators were supposed to win, as the Gamecocks have been hounded by nagging injuries and poor play this season. Carolina was coming off a pretty big 80-56 loss to Georgia, a team that Florida beat with semi-relative ease a week ago. This will be a nice win to have under their belts as the team has a week to prepare for Ole Miss, next Saturday's opponent.
Points off Turnovers: Florida 20 - South Carolina 5
Points in Paint: Florida 40 - South Carolina 20
Fast Break Points: Florida 14 - South Carolina 3
Lee Humphrey: 27 pts, 7-8 3 Pt Att
Al Horford: 14 pts, 11 rebs
Joakim Noah: 13 pts, 8 rebs
Around the SEC
Tennessee went down to Ohio State 68-66 today in Columbus. The Buckeyes win was fueled by a late 3 point basket by Ron Lewis, giving the Buckeyes the 2 point lead with only 11 seconds to go in the game.
The Volunteers struggled with free throws today, shooting 5-11 for the game and missing a couple crucial ones in the final minute.
Around the Country
#1 UNC fell to Virginia Tech, 94-88, in the Hokies' second win over ranked opponents in 3 games. This would lead me to believe that the Gators will be ranked #1 in the upcoming poll.
Virginia Tech had 14 steals and forced 17 UNC turnovers overall. The Hokies shot 53% from the floor in the win, including 7-13 3 point baskets.
In other action, UCLA edged out cross-town rival USC on an Arron Aflallo jump shot with 4 seconds remaining. The Bruins were coming off a loss last Saturday in Eugene against the Oregon Ducks.
Finally, there are no more unbeatens in 1-A as Clemson fell to ACC rival Maryland, 92-87, in College Park. Clemson was 17-0 coming into today's game, the nation's only unbeaten team in Division 1-A.
AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain