USC and Florida were going toe to toe and blow for blow. But a flagrant foul and foul trouble doomed the Gamecocks in a 72-68 loss to the Gators Wednesday night at Colonial Life Arena.
Both teams were trading jabs, going back and forth has the game reached its final 10 minutes. USC had a three point halftime lead despite the fact Sindarius Thornwell sat most of it with two fouls. Foul trouble was an issue for Thornwell in the second half, too. He picked up his fourth midway through the half and had to sit until the final five minutes. Thornwell fouled out with a minute to play and only five points, no rebounds and two assists to show for himself.
Thornwell’s foul trouble hurt the Gamecocks on both ends of the floor. The game turned with 11:21 left when Laimonis Chatkevicus was whistled for a flagrant foul. That gave the Gators two free throws and the ball; they made both free throws, then buried a three to take a five point lead. That was part of a 13-2 run that stretched the Gator working margin to eight points, a lead they would not relinquish.
USC cut the lead to two with :06 to play, but after a quick Gamecock foul the Gators made both free throws. Florida went 8-8 from the free throw line to close the game.
Frank Martin presser
- Florida center Jon Horford did not play; he was suspended for a violation of team policy.
- USC sported camouflage shorts for a second straight game. Our impromptu and very unscientific Twitter survey showed most fans weren’t fans of the new look.
- USC and Florida each had an 11-0 run in the first half.
- USC lead 34-31 at the half.
- Florida had a 15-14 edge in rebounds at halftime; at the end of the game they had a 37-24 edge.
- Michael Frazier finished with 17 points for the Gators. He made 3-5 from three point range. Not a bad game, but nowhere close to his last game in Columbia when he scored 37 points aided by Florida record 11 three pointers.
- Frazier didn’t make the start because Billy Donovan wanted to settle him down from a rough start to the season.
- Duane Notice, who is the Gamecocks leading scorer at 13 points per game, finished with just five points.
- The announced attendance was 12,181
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