South Carolina is the latest team to suffer complete humiliation against the Gators’ defense.
No. 4 Florida dismantled the Gamecocks 75-36 at the O’Connell Center for its ninth straight win. It was the Gators’ third game in a row keeping an opponent under 50 points and the 11th time they have done it this season.
“We want to make teams feel uncomfortable,” guard Mike Rosario said. “Everyone is doing their job, and it’s showing.”
UF (17-2, 7-0 SEC) caused so much discomfort defensively that the Gamecocks did not make a field goal for the first six minutes. Florida went ahead 21-4 midway through the first half.
South Carolina (12-8, 2-5) shot just 14.3 percent from the field in the first half and 31.1 percent overall.
The Gamecocks’ scoring output was their lowest in two decades of playing in the SEC.
Offensively, the Gators took advantage of South Carolina’s 17 turnovers by scoring 22 points off them. They shot 52.8 percent from the floor and had 10 players score at least two points. They also outrebounded the Gamecocks 38-24.
Florida led 33-10 at halftime and pushed its lead to 40 with a 22-5 run early in the second half. The Gators were up 30 or more for the final 17 minutes of the game.
“I’ve tried to get across to these guys that when you’re up by a large margin, that does not give you the right to not do your job,” coach Billy Donovan said. “The scoreboard’s got nothing to do with your responsibility on the court. They’ve done a pretty good job of playing every possession.”
Rosario and Kenny Boynton led the team with 15 points each, combining to shoot 11-of-22.
Michael Frazier had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Patric Young added eight points and eight rebounds.
South Carolina’s top scorer was Michael Carrera with 13 points. No other player had more than seven.
Florida was close to setting a new program record for fewest points allowed in the shot-clock era but loosened up late in the game as its back-ups played the final minutes. The Gators’ best defensive performance remains holding Georgia Southern to 27 in 2006.
It was their largest margin of victory over South Carolina, surpassing a 35-point Florida win in 1931.
The Gators are allowing 50.4 points per game this season, the best mark among teams from major conferences. They host No. 16 Ole Miss (17-3, 6-1) on Saturday.
“The more you win like this, the more you show what you have, the more responsibility you have,” Donovan said. “You don’t want to go backwards. You want to get better and improve.
“The minute you cut corners, that’s where the slippage starts. You can’t embrace the past. The past is over.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.