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Dupay, UF outlast South Carolina

Sophomore's threes keep putting Gators on top in win over stubborn Gamecocks.

About the only one who didn't know Teddy Dupay's importance to No. 12 Florida on Wednesday night was Dupay.

Dupay had a season-high 20 points, including five three-pointers that lifted the Gators over South Carolina 86-82.

Four of Dupay's long shots regained leads for the Gators, and his four-point play put them ahead for good.

"You're telling me that and that's the first time I know that," Dupay said. "I almost never look at the score during the game."

If he had, he'd have seen his big night. The most critical moment for the 5-foot-10 sophomore may have come after Jamel Bradley's three-pointer got the Gamecocks back from an eight-point deficit for a 57-56 lead.

Dupay put up an off-balance shot that swished through as Bradley undercut him. Dupay's free throw gave Florida a lead it did not surrender en route to its third straight Southeastern Conference road victory.

Dupay followed with an uncontested layup, then a nifty behind-the-back dribble and zip pass to an open Kenyan Weaks for a basket as Florida led 66-63.

"I don't even think about that," said Dupay, who passed his season high of 16 set in December against High Point. "If I had an open shot, I took it. If not, somebody else is going to be there."

And that often was Weaks, who went seven games without breaking double figures before scoring 22 against South Carolina. Weaks made four three-pointers, most after Dupay passed it with defenders running at him.

"The one thing you can say about Teddy and Kenyan and most shooters is you make one or two early, you kind of get your rhythm going," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "Very rarely do you see people go from start to finish with that type of range."

The Gamecocks again hung close with a ranked club. But as in three-point losses to Michigan State and Syracuse, a four-point defeat at Auburn and a 61-60 last-second home loss to Vanderbilt last week, they could not close things out.

Their top scorers, guards Herbert Lee Davis and Chuck Eidson, were a combined 2-of-17 for nine points as the Gamecocks lost for the seventh time by eight points or fewer against a ranked team.

"With Herbert it was some tough shots, with respect to Chuck Eidson, he's fatigued with all he has to do," South Carolina coach Eddie Fogler said.

Eidson, a 6-foot-7 freshman, has taken over the point because of a hand injury to starter Aaron Lucas, who is expected to miss at least two more games.

After trailing by 10 with 45 seconds left, the Gamecocks closed to 84-80 on Bradley's three-pointer and Antonio Grant's three-point play.

But Weaks hit two free throws to restore control.

"It felt great to finally contribute offensively," said Weaks, who had scored 40 points in his past seven games. "Hopefully, it generates some success for our basketball team."

Dupay hit four long-range shots in the first half, the first from well beyond NBA range.

The Gators made 10 of 17 three-pointers.