Florida 81 South Carolina 60

SECOND HALF

– Denzel Aberdeen checks in with less than two minutes to go and the Gators up 79-57.

– Myreon Jones closing in on a triple-double. He has nine points, nine rebounds and eight assists tonight with 6:06 left.

– GG Jackson with five straight points to trim UF’s sizable lead. But Kugel ends up at the rim on Florida’s next possession, followed by a second-chance 3-pointer by the freshman to push the Gators’ lead to 23.

– Zachary Davis is sent off for a forearm to the face of Niels Lane. After a lengthy review, he is expelled. On the Gamecocks’ next possession, Lane fouls.

– Florida is getting away with this one. Bonham finds Myreon Jones wide open to increase the UF lead to 25, 62-37 with 10:32 to play.

– Hayden Brown fouls Will Richard, marking Brown’s fifth foul. Richard knocks down both free throws. Florida leads, 55-35.

– Castleton grabs the offensive rebound, draws the foul and hits both free throws to restore Florida’s 16-point lead.

– Jones lobs to Kugel, who finishes the alley-oop slam to give the Gators a 46-30 lead, their biggest lead of the game.

– Castleton hits a cutting Jones, who is fouled before completing the lay-in. Jones knocks down the free throw to complete the three-point play. Florida’s lead has reached 14.

– Lofton passes it to Myreon Jones, who finds Kugel wide open in the corner. The rookie knocks him down. Hayden Brown then proceeds to commit his fourth foul and heads back to the bench.

– Lofton hits a midrange jumper to open the second half scoring for the Gators.

FIRST HALF

– Reeves gets a clean look from the corner but doesn’t go down. Florida takes an eight-point lead at halftime.

– The Gators stop the Gamecocks’ final possession of the first half, and the South Carolina coaching staff will take a timeout with 4.6 seconds remaining before halftime to try to stop UF’s last attempt before the half point.

– Jitoboh hits another floater, his second, and the Gators call timeout with 34 seconds remaining in the first half.

– Jitoboh gets back-to-back blocks with Castleton on the bench, an encouraging sign for a depleted UF frontcourt.

– Lofton gets a lay-in to drop to give the Gators a nine-point lead. Castleton hit with game delay notice after winning their game under the basket.

– Castleton splits a pair of free throws, followed by a Will Richard steal, though the sophomore guard can’t complete the fast-break opportunity.

– South Carolina’s Hayden Brown is in early foul trouble, drawing three fouls in less than 12 minutes of action. The Gamecocks’ fourth leading scorer will have to sit out for a significant period.

– Niels Lane checks in, marking his first appearance since December 4.

– Bonham bounces it to Jitoboh, who floats it home. Richard throws out the Gators in transition after a missed USC try on the next possession, but can’t finish at the rim.

– Riley Kugel appears to have sprained his knee. He’ll sit out while the Gators make some early substitutions; Jitoboh, Bonham and Kowacie Reeves have signed on.

– Myreon Jones is fouled on the drive and will go to the foul line after the under-16 timeout.

– Castleton has six fast points. With Jackson the tallest player on the Gamecocks, there isn’t much USC can do about the 6-foot-11 Castleton.

– Colin Castleton with a two-handed dunk followed by a disputed throw-in opens the scoring for the Gators. Riley Kugel, starting off, draws a charge early. Gamecocks have a couple of turnovers in as many minutes.

PREGAME

Florida’s starting lineup against the Gamecocks: Myreon Jones, Kyle Lofton, Riley Kugel, Will Richard and Colin Castleton.

– Read the scouting preview of Jacob Rudner of the South Carolina Gamecocks.

NOTES

– Florida hosts South Carolina looking to break the trend of the recent series, which has seen the visiting team win the last six games. Each team has won three in a row at the other’s home court as UF looks for its first home win against the Gamecocks since February 21, 2017.

– The Gators have won four of their last five and rank 13th in defensive efficiency nationally (KenPom).

– Six SEC schools hired new head coaches in 2022, including Florida. golden todd he has gone 4-0 against his fellow first-year coaches in the league and looks to make a clean sweep in his first time against the signing class of 2022.

– UF built a 16-point first-half lead at Mississippi State, then prevented the Bulldogs’ rally, stopping the game’s final possession to seal the win. colin castle scored 13 points, while Richard added 12 on 4-for-5 shooting from 3-point range. kyle lofton Y Myreon Jones combined for 11 assists and zero turnovers, while Lofton added a season-high and team-leading eight rebounds.

colin castle he has blocked 59 shots this season, 29 in SEC play, and 175 as a Gator, falling just one shy of making Florida’s top-five and UF’s top-10 single-season list for the second time. (Her 62 blocks from him last season are #9 total in Florida history.)

— After six of Florida’s first seven opponents shot more than 40 percent from the field, the Gators have held 10 of their last 12 foes below that threshold.

colin castle leads UF in scoring (14.8), rebounding (7.8), blocks (59), free throws made (76) and steals (21). kyle lofton surpasses the Gators with 54 assists, and Richard he paces the team with 30 3-pointers and a .435 3-point percentage.

– As a team, the Gators’ 5.9 blocked shots per game are tied for fifth in the NCAA. Individually, Castleton’s 3.11 blocked shots per game rank third in the nation.

colin castle he earned SEC Player of the Week honors on Jan. 16 thanks to two strong performances in wins at LSU and against #20 Missouri last week. At LSU, Castleton recorded 18 points and five blocks with a career night at the free throw line (12-of-15). He followed it up with a complete performance against Mizzou, posting 16 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocked shots.

– Florida’s defense and Colin Castleton’s 18-point, five-block performance fueled the Gators’ victory at LSU, which snapped the Tigers’ 13-game home winning streak. As the UF made its run in the second half, the Gators hit timely 3-pointers from Myreon Jones Y riley kugeleach of whom helped in the other’s big basket.

– The Gators had five players in double figures in their win against UGA, led by Kyle Lofton with a season-high 18. colin castle scored 12 points, eight rebounds, seven blocks and five assists, while Richard added 14 points and nine rebounds. Myreon Jones (season high 13 points) and kowacie reeves (12) both added a scoring spark off the bench, as UF enjoyed a 35-17 lead on the bench.

Alex Fudge he had a four-game skid from November 30 to December 30. 14 when he averaged 13.3 points and a team-high 8.3 rebounds, shot 18-of-32 (.563) from the field, 3-of-6 from 3-point range, and made 14-of-15 free throw attempts (.933). Fudge had a pair of double-doubles in that span, going 16/10 against FAMU and 13/10 against Ohio.

riley kugel he made his first career start against Florida A&M, marking six straight seasons and 15 of the last 16 in which a freshman started at least one game for UF (every season since 2007-08 except 2016-17).

– UF’s 19-point rally at Florida State marked the fourth-biggest in team history and the biggest on the road since a 22-point comeback at South Carolina on February 24, 1993. Castleton scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half.

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