GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- David Lee had 18 points and 10 rebounds
to help Florida beat South Carolina 80-72 Saturday, extending its
winning streak against the Gamecocks to eight games.
South Carolina, which remained winless in six games on the road
this season, rallied from an 18-point deficit early in the second
half and cut the lead to five. But the Gators put the game away
with three key plays with less than 6 minutes remaining.
Corey Brewer had a steal, layup and free throw to push the lead
to 72-62. South Carolina answered, then the Gators (13-4, 5-1
Southeastern Conference) had an unlikely possession that ended with
Anthony Roberson missed a driving baseline layup, Al Horford got
the rebound but had his shot blocked by Renaldo Balkman. Horford
got the ball back and was blocked again by Balkman. Matt Walsh then
slapped the loose ball to Lee, who was alone under the basket.
Again, the Gamecocks (11-7, 3-4) answered and could have gotten
even closer but missed a 3-pointer. Brewer then drew a foul in the
lane with the shot clock winding down. His free throw made it a
nine-point game with 2:11 to play. Brewer finished with 12 points,
and Roberson had 15.
The Gators made four of five free throws down the stretch to
eliminate another comeback.
The first rally came thanks to seldom-used guard Dwayne Day. He
made 14 consecutive points for the Gamecocks. He had four
3-pointers and a baseline dunk that turned a 17-point lead into a
Day didn't score again, though, and missed two 3-pointers in the
Carlos Powell led South Carolina with 18 points and seven
rebounds and incited the crowd during the team's second-half surge.
The Gamecocks also played without center Antoine Tisby, who
didn't make the trip because of "time management problems," coach
Dave Odom said. Odom also benched guard Josh Gonner for the second
half in what he called a coach's decision.