Gators fall to South Carolina 72-69
Florida was 12-of-22 from the free throw line and gave up 14 offensive rebounds in a 72-69 loss to South Caorlina in front of 12,158 at the O’Connell Center Saturday afternoon.
It was a bitter ending to a game in which Florida (13-4, 2-1 SEC) battled back from a double-digit deficit.
After junior guard Erving Walker pulled the Gators within 59-57 with 3:18 remaining, senior forward Alex Tyus tied the game at 59 with a rebound off Walker’s missed free-throw.
But South Carolina’s Sam Muldrow hit a 3-pointer with 53 seconds remaining, and the Gamecocks hit a driving layup and four consecutive free throws in the final 28.2 seconds to hang on for the win.
When South Carolina (11-5, 2-1)took a 14-13 lead with 10:23 remaining in the half, the Gators never led again.
After struggling early (26.7 percent from the field, 25 percent from 3-point range), Florida eventually shot 44.8 percent from the field. But the free-throw shooting - including Walker’s missed front end of a one-and-one with 1:09 remaining that would have tied the game at 63 – was extremely costly.
Florida missed its final five free throws of the game.
Listen to some of Florida coach Billy Donovan's postgame comments here: