USC and Florida were locked in a tight game Tuesday night at the Colonial Life Arena until the rim tightened up on the Gamecocks late in the second half. The Gators spoiled the Gamecocks SEC opener 81-68 to improve to 2-0 in SEC play and hand coach Mike White his 200th career victory. The Gamecocks fall to 8-6 and face Tennessee and Kentucky in their next two outings.
Key points in the Gamecocks’ loss to Florida
- USC pulled to within 54-53 with 13:36 to play on a layup by Maik Kotsar, but over the next eight-and-a-half minutes the Gamecocks made just 2 of 12 shots from the floor. The Gators took advantage of that to build a 69-60 lead and the Gamecocks couldn’t get closer than 5 the rest of the way.
- USC did not score over the final 2:43 and Florida finished the game on an 8-0 run.
- The Gamecocks were beaten badly on the boards 42-30, but both teams finished with 60 attempts and 28 points in the paint.
- Florida took advantage of the foul line in the 2nd half making 14-18 free throws to 5-10 for USC. The Gamecocks have been one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the country but finished the night 18-24.
- Kotsar led the Gamecocks with 18 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season and 3rd of his career.
- USC’s backcourt of AJ Lawson and Jair Bolden combined to shoot 7 of 29 from the floor.
- Andrew Nembhard had his own double-double of 21 points and 10 assists, basically doubling his season averages in both categories. He did his best work over the final 12 minutes scoring 10 points, dishing out 2 assists and grabbing a rebound
- Frank Martin said he was happy with his team’s effort but defensive execution with ball screens was not good, and he also was not pleased by the lack of work on the glass.
- Jermaine Couisnard did not play due to a strained back.
- FINAL STATS
Frank Martin postgame press conference