Gators Win Streak Ends In Columbia

The Florida Gators saw their seven game winning streak come to an end Wednesday in Columbia, South Carolina, as the number 24 Gamecocks handed the 19th ranked Gators at 57-53 defeat.

Neither team could find the touch early, as the game was scoreless until the 14:14 mark, when Kasey Hill's layup finally opened the scoring.  Hill would be the only Gators' starter to reach double figures in points, finishing with 11 on the night.

Florida led by as many as eight points in the first half, and went to intermission leading 28-21.

South Carolina turned things on in the second half, led by Sindarius Thomas, who scored 15 of his 20 points for the game in the final 20 minutes.  The Gamecocks started the second half by going on a 10-2 run in the first six-plus that gave them the lead for good at 31-30.

Florida's deficit reached as many as six in the half, but they rallied to get things as close as 50-49 with just under two minutes to play and 54-53 with 40 seconds to go.  However, the Gators could not keep South Carolina from making the crucial play needed to maintain their lead, and Mike White's bunch could not get the game tied before time ran out.

The loss for Florida (14-4, 5-1 SEC) in their first in SEC play, and drops them behind the Gamecocks in the conference standings.  The Gamecocks remain one of only two teams in the SEC, along with Kentucky, who have yet to lose in conference play.

Florida will look to rebound Saturday at the O'Connell Center, when Vanderbilt comes to Gainesville.  Pregame coverage starts at 11:25 Saturday morning on WDAE, with tip-off scheduled for noon.

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