USC used a 46 point second half to defeat Florida Wednesday night in Columbia 77-71. The Gamecocks trailed 35-31 at halftime as the Gators shot 68% from the floor over the first 20 minutes. But Florida fell victim to poor ball handling and poor free throw shooting in losing to the Gamecocks at the Colonial Life Arena for the second year in a row. The Gators finished with a season high 20 turnovers and were just 10-23 from the foul line. The Gamecocks were 19-24 from stripe and turned it over a season low matching six times. Ramon Galloway’s three pointer with 6:28 to play broke a 53-53 tie and started the Gamecocks on a 14-6 run as they built an 11 point lead with :49 left.
AUDIO: Darrin Horn
Devan Downey led the Gamecocks with 24 points, a season low for him in SEC games. He was just 6-18 from the floor and 1-6 on three pointers. But he was 11-12 from the line including nine of ten over the final two minutes. Despite playing on a bum ankle, Downey logged 34 minutes. He also contributed four steals and two assists.
AUDIO: Devan Downey
Downey will continue to wear a boot on his injured ankle for precautionary reasons. Johndre Jefferson suffered a sprained ankle in the game and will be be further evaluated Thursday.
Brandis Raley-Ross matched his career high with 20 points and hit three big three pointers in the second has as the Gamecocks turned a seven point deficit into an 11 point lead.
AUDIO: Brandis Raley-Ross
Sam Muldrow added 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists for the Gamecocks. Erving Walker led the Gators with 20 points.
USC improves to 14-9 overall and 5-4 in the SEC and will play Saturday at Georgia. Florida drops to 17-7 and 6-4 in the league. The Gators step out of the league to take on Xavier in Gainesville Saturday.