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3 takeaways as UF ends skid against South Carolina


Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Florida dominated this game on paper, but in spite of that, the Gamecocks had the Gators sweating a bit in the final minutes. As mentioned above, they brought the score within three. Though a field goal drought in the final 3:18 certainly did UF no favors in putting away its opponent, it also allowed way too many second chances for South Carolina.

USC out-rebounded Florida 38-35, but the real discrepancy came on offensive rebounds, where the Gamecocks had a 21-8 advantage. Luckily for the Gators, that only resulted in 13 points for South Carolina, and a poor shooting performance (34.7% for the game) limited its ability to take advantage of those opportunities. Chico Carter Jr. (12 points) and Erik Stevenson (10 points) were the only players to score in double figures.

But this is a Gamecocks team without much hope at the NCAA Tournament, and better teams will make UF pay if it plays like that around the basket. It was a great game for Colin Castleton on the inside, as he had eight blocks. However, his seven rebounds led the team, and the Gators need to do a better job of boxing out. Those offensive rebounds led to a much closer game than this had any business being, and against a team that can take advantage of those opportunities, it may have cost Florida a must-win game.

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