Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Wilbekin hurt as Florida routs South Carolina

GAINESVILLE — Scottie Wilbekin grimaced in pain as he was helped off the court.

Coach Billy Donovan had a similar expression — but not just because of his starting point guard's injury.

Wilbekin had 17 points before spraining his right ankle, and No. 10 Florida opened SEC play with a 74-58 victory against South Carolina on Wednesday at the O'Connell Center.

Donovan criticized Wilbekin for driving the lane and taking a wild shot, something he has cautioned the senior about repeatedly this season.

"He was driving in the lane out of control. He's just got to do a better job," Donovan said, adding that Wilbekin will be questionable Saturday at Arkansas.

Casey Prather and Patric Young had 13 points each for the Gators (12-2), who won their sixth straight and tied a school record by winning their 24th consecutive home game.

"I don't know how many games we have left at home, but we would love to finish it out undefeated," Young said.

Florida's next home game is Tuesday against Georgia.

On Wednesday, UF made six of its first seven shots and led 14-1. The Gamecocks (7-7) went more than nine minutes without a basket and trailed 16-4 before Mindaugas Kacinas' jumper.

"The young kids were tight and nervous," South Carolina coach Frank Martin said. "My biggest concern going into this … was that first five to six minutes. Exactly what I was hoping didn't happen, happened."

The Gamecocks had as many turnovers (12) as field-goal attempts with six minutes left in the first half and were down 18.

The Gamecocks woke up in the second half, cutting the deficit to 40-32 on Michael Carrera's jumper.

"I don't know what it is, but we have a very, very hard time sustaining intensity," Donovan said.

The Gators responded. Prather converted a three-point play, Wilbekin sank a deep 3-pointer and Young hit a hook shot in the paint. Prather passed to Dorian Finney-Smith for an alley-oop that made it 52-37.

A few minutes later, guards Michael Frazier and Wilbekin hit 3-pointers that pushed the lead to 60-42, and UF coasted from there.

Afterward, much of the talk was about Wilbekin.

"It's going to be kind of difficult without him," Prather said. "But we have great guys on the team, great players, so I feel like whatever adversity we get, we'll be fine."

SECOND CHANCE: Forward Damontre Harris, who was dismissed from the Gators last month, is enrolled and trying to work his way back on the team. Donovan said Harris will get another chance but won't play this season.

Wilbekin hurt as Florida routs South Carolina 01/08/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 11:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)

    Golf

    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays journal: Rays gamble on Sergio Romo's track record, heart

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Some of RHP Sergio Romo's numbers this season with the Dodgers were the worst of his career, yet the Rays feel he can be a good fit for their bullpen.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Sergio Romo #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on June 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
  5. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.