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Gators win at South Carolina for first SEC victory

Florida improves its shooting, moves to 1-3 in the conference.
Florida guard Phlandrous Fleming Jr., shown in a Jan. 8 game, scores 14 points as the Gators defeat South Carolina 71-63 on Saturday.
Florida guard Phlandrous Fleming Jr., shown in a Jan. 8 game, scores 14 points as the Gators defeat South Carolina 71-63 on Saturday. [ BUTCH DILL | AP ]
Published Jan. 16|Updated Jan. 16

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Phlandrous Fleming Jr. and Kowacie Reeves scored 14 points each and Florida beat South Carolina 71-63 on Saturday for its first SEC win.

Colin Castleton added 10 points, seven rebounds and a career-tying eight blocks as the Gators (10-6, 1-3) avoided their first 0-4 SEC start since 1950.

Chico Carter scored 12 for the Gamecocks (10-6, 1-3).

In its SEC losses — all against teams ranked in the top 15 — Florida shot 40 percent. On Saturday, the Gators shot 55 percent to 35 percent for South Carolina.

“We have to step up with confidence and make a shot. If you miss it, either know you’re going to make the next one, don’t shoot it or come over and sit with us,” UF coach Mike White said. “Defensively, let’s put pressure on ourselves to get back to being a high-level defensive team.”

When the Gamecocks got within six, Florida ran the shot clock down then Reeves saved a rebound as he flew out of bounds. Tyree Appleby made two free throws and Castleton had Florida’s 11th block.

The Gamecocks’ only lead was 2-0.

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