No. 19 Florida Gators hit 12 3-pointers in 79-65 victory over South Carolina Gamecocks

Florida freshman Bradley Beal, left, who had 14 points, drives past South Carolina’s Damontre Harris for a basket during the first half.

Associated Press

Florida freshman Bradley Beal, left, who had 14 points, drives past South Carolina’s Damontre Harris for a basket during the first half.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Florida coach Billy Donovan thinks his team has plenty of things to improve on as the visitor, and the 19th-ranked Gators' first true road win of the season didn't change his view.

Kenny Boynton had 15 points and hit four of the Gators' 12 3-pointers in a 79-65 victory over South Carolina on Saturday night.

Florida (14-4, 2-1 SEC) has won away from the O'Connell Center this season, but it had lost its first four games on an opponent's home court: to Ohio State, Syracuse, Rutgers and Tennessee in its SEC opener.

"This was a positive step," Donovan said. "But I'd be the first one to say I don't think our guys have anything figured out on the road."

They certainly figured out South Carolina (8-9, 0-3).

The Gators made 12 of 24 3-point attempts and 25 of 47 shots (53.2 percent) overall, and they had 19 assists and 10 turnovers in front of a large, loud crowd shouting them down on nearly every possession at Colonial Life Arena.

Six players reached double figures in scoring for Florida, also watched by beloved Gators football great and current South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, at the game for a halftime celebration of his Gamecocks' 11-win season.

"This means a lot," Boynton said of the win. "We feel like it's a new season, SEC play. … We just have to keep it going."

Will Yeguete and Bradley Beal had 14 points each, Erik Murphy and Erving Walker 11, and Mike Rosario 10. Yeguete went 6-of-6 from the field and added eight rebounds.

"Florida's a really difficult matchup," South Carolina coach Darrin Horn said. "That being said, we've got to get better defensively. We can't continue to allow teams to shoot over 50 percent."

Bruce Ellington had 17 points to lead the Gamecocks, who opened league play with three losses for the first time in Horn's four seasons.

Florida took charge with a fast start in the second half and held the Gamecocks scoreless for more than eight minutes.

Boynton started things with his fourth 3-pointer, and Beal followed with another long-distance shot as the Gators moved in front 48-44.

Rosario had a breakaway dunk after a steal, which followed an embarrassing play in which he passed to Yeguete while Yeguete was waiting on the sideline to enter the game. Rosario's teammates laughed and smiled before Beal added another 3-pointer.

By the time Beal hit two free throws, the Gators led 59-44. South Carolina got no closer than 10 after that.

19 UF 79

S.C. 65

No. 19 Florida Gators hit 12 3-pointers in 79-65 victory over South Carolina Gamecocks 01/14/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 14, 2012 11:05pm]

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