It was another rough night for the Gamecocks as they fell victim to a talented Florida team 79-60. The Gators came into Columbia looking for revenge after an upset victory for the Gamecocks over Florida happened in early January. Florida got some great play out of Erving Walker with 25 points and Chandler Parsons had a great second half and finished the game with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists.
South Carolina opened this game with an 0-8 shooting slump as Florida pushed the lead 9-0. Ramon Galloway woke up the Gamecocks offense and pulled them within 2 points with a score of 9-7. Galloway scored all 7 of those points. The Gamecocks would stay behind the rest of the way as Florida led from start to finish and USC just didn't have an answer for the quick Florida guards and the powerful inside game of the Florida big men.Florida outscored USC 36-20 inside the paint. It was quite an advantage for the Gators and it worked very well for them. Florida shot the ball over 55% on the night and converted a lot of points off USC turnovers.
It's been a slow decline for the South Carolina Gamecocks but they find themselves alone in last place in the SEC East. The SEC season started out strong by winning 3 of the first 4 games but have since lost 4 out of 5 and find themselves with a 4-5 conference record. USC's early wins over Florida and Vanderbilt turned into blowouts in the second meeting. The Gamecocks are struggling offensively, getting no help from inside, and appear to be playing out of control on both ends of the court. This young team appears to be hitting the "wall" and the struggles won't go away unless they can get some consistent play out of people like Sam Muldrow, Bruce Ellington, and Ramon Galloway. These guys are the main scoring threats and really have to have big games for USC to beat opponents like Tennessee, Georgia, and Kentucky.
There are still 7 games left in conference play so there's plenty of time to turn around the season and finish on a high note but if the recent play continues then the Gamecocks appear heading for another season sitting at home missing out on postseason play.
South Carolina will play Georgia this Saturday at the Colonial Life Arena at 4:00 pm. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.