It was not the prettiest display by the Gamecocks on Sunday afternoon, but No. 1 South Carolina (20-1, 8-1) managed to hang on and defeat Florida (15-6, 5-3) by the score of 62-50. It was the program’s seventh straight conference victory and 14th straight win over the Gators.
Through halftime, it appeared the Gamecocks were primed for another blowout.
Although they were in the midst of a five-game winning streak, Florida looked rusty coming off their bye week. The Gators were held to three total points in the first quarter, missing 18 of 19 shots and converting only one of four tries from the charity stripe.
The lead eventually grew to as large as 28, but things started clicking for Florida in the third quarter. They found a groove on offense, adjusted their defense on Aliyah Boston, forced some stops and eventually cut the deficit to 13 with 9:20 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Despite Boston only scoring five points in the second half and South Carolina having 21 turnovers, Florida failed to capitalize on the opportunities the Cocks were giving them.
The Gators shot 30.8% from the field, including 2-of-11 from beyond the arc, and only had 11 points off turnovers.
Florida managed to outscore South Carolina in the second half by eight, but the hole they dug themselves into during the first quarter proved to be too large to get out of.
Nonetheless, Boston still netted her 14th consecutive double-double with 13 points and a season-high 19 rebounds.
Kiki Smith was one of the bright spots for the Gators, contributing 22 points with 17 of them coming in the second half.
The Gamecocks hope to clean things up in the future, and the next opportunity to do so will be Thursday night at home against Alabama.