No. 13 Florida tops South Carolina 81-66
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida refused to get shut out again from 3-point range against South Carolina.
KeVaughn Allen needed just one shot to make sure it didn't happen.
Allen scored 26 points, a considerably better performance than his last game against the Gamecocks, and the 13th-ranked Gators beat South Carolina 81-66 on Tuesday night.
"KeVaughn Allen obviously was geeked up to come here and play," Gamecocks coach Frank Martin said.
Devin Robinson added 14 points for Florida, which won its ninth consecutive game and locked up one of the top four seeds — and a double bye — in the upcoming Southeastern Conference Tournament. Chris Chiozza and Kasey Hill chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Sindarius Thornwell led South Carolina with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Duane Notice added 16 points.
The difference in the game was the 3-point line. Florida, which missed all 17 shots from behind the arc in a 57-53 loss in Columbia a month ago, made 9 of 19 from that range Tuesday. Six of those came in the decisive second half.
Allen got it started with a 3 from the top of the key. Justin Leon hit two from the corner, and Robinson made two more.
"We're at home. We've got to knock down those shots at the crib," Robinson said. "We just shot with confidence. Coach told us to let it fly, let it go, play defense, rebound and the rest would handle itself."
South Carolina (20-8, 10-5) dropped its third in a row and fourth in five games.