Instant analysis: Florida 74, S. Carolina 66
February, 3, 2012
By Michael DiRocco | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Phil SandlinUF's Mike Rosario is blocked by USC's Damontre Harris in the first half Thursday. HighlightsGAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida survived its worst 3-point shooting game of the season thanks to one of its better performances from the free-throw line.
The Gators shot a season-low 25 percent from the 3-point range (7-for-28) -- at one point missing nine consecutive long-range attempts -- but made up for it by making a season-high 23 free throws in front of 10,003 at the O'Connell Center Thursday night. Florida went 23-for-32 from the line, including making 16 of its final 18 attempts after starting 7-for-14. It was UF's seventh-best performance from the free-throw line this season.
"I guess we got a little frustrated. Everybody wasn't making their [3-point] shots," freshman guard Bradley Beal said. "When we have shooting nights like that, that's when we have to turn up the defense. We were really frustrated with our 3s but we have to be better than that."
The 11th-ranked Gators (18-4, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) made six of their first 12 3-point attempts in the game's first 14 minutes, but missed their next nine consecutive 3-point shots. Kenny Boynton stopped the streak with 7:17 remaining -- a span of nearly 19 minutes.
UF was able to secure its sixth consecutive victory, however, by going 14-for-15 from the free-throw line in the game's final 3:45.
"We missed them early, but we've got good shooters," senior point guard Erving Walker said. "We've just got to step up to the line with confidence and know that we're going to make it."
Player of the game: Boynton scored 24 points, which was the most he's scored since he had a season-high 26 against Yale on Dec. 31. Boynton went 6-for-13 from the field and 4-for-8 from 3-point range. He was just 4-for-17 from 3-point range in his three previous games. He also went 8-for-10 from the free-throw line, including making 5-of-6 in the game's final 1:09.
Stat of the game: Florida had 14 offensive rebounds in the first half. South Carolina had 11 total rebounds. UF out-rebounded South Carolina 23-11 in the half.
What did we learn: The Gators are still having a hard time moving past mistakes or bad shots. Beal in particular struggles in this area, letting a mistake on the offensive end -- whether it's a missed shot or a turnover -- bleed into his defense on the ensuing possession. UF coach Billy Donovan is going to have to figure out a way to get the players to learn how to quit dwelling on mistakes and move onto the next play.
Noteworthy: Beal posted his fourth career double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds). The 11 rebounds were a career high. He had five offensive rebounds, which is as many as he had in the last 10 games combined. ... Florida has now won 18 consecutive games at the O'Connell Center. ... The Gators have won 10 of the last 13 meetings with the Gamecocks (9-12, 1-6). ... Florida out-rebounded South Carolina 42-30. The Gamecocks out-rebounded the Gators 30-25 in their previous meeting this season. ... Walker has made at least one 3-pointer in 20 consecutive games. He is now sixth on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,609 points.
Recruit Comparison: Manziel to Harris
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35