Gamecocks rally in second half to top Gators 77-71

By Adam Silverstein
February 10, 2010

Devan Downey may be the South Carolina Gamecocks‘ star player, but fellow senior guard Brandis Raley-Ross stole the show Wednesday night in Columbia, SC. Raley-Ross’ 17 second half points and four three-pointers led the Gamecocks (14-9, 5-4 SEC) to a comeback 77-71 home victory over the Florida Gators (17-7, 6-4 SEC).

Though Florida only missed seven shots in the first half and was shooting 68.2 percent to 37.8 percent for South Carolina, an astounding 12 turnovers (including five in the first 4:17 of the game) left them with only a four-point lead at halftime.

This trend would continue after the break, with the Gators surrendering three turnovers in the first 4:30 of the second half and a five more before the final buzzer sounded. The Gamecocks were stingy, only giving up six all night compared to UF’s season-high 20.

Read the rest of OGGOA’s Florida at South Carolina game story after the jump!

Florida’s miscues continued at the free throw line, where they shot 43.5 percent (10-of-23) as a team after averaging over 70 percent on the season. Though they did outrebound USC 39-27, Florida allowed South Carolina 18 more shot attempts due to the turnover discrepancy. Wednesday marked the first Southeastern Conference game this season that the Orange and Blue lost while outrebounding their opponent.

The Gators initially took the lead on a dunk by junior forward Chandler Parsons with 16:31 remaining in the first half. It would increase to a game-high eight for Florida on a three-pointer by sophomore point guard Erving Walker with 6:45 on the clock. UF would hold on to the advantage for 27:53 of game time before losing it on a trey by Downey that gave USC a 51-50 lead with 8:18 remaining in the game.

An 18-5 Gamecocks second half run that included three three-pointers and 11 total points by Raley-Ross propelled South Carolina to a game-high seven-point lead that they would never surrender. Ross finished with 20 points while Downey led USC with 24. Junior F Sam Muldrow contributed 16 points and eight rebounds.

For the Gators, Walker was 6-for-10 both from the field and at the line for a team-high 20 points. He was one of three Florida players with four turnovers. The other two were Parsons (13 points, 11 rebounds, six assists) and junior F Alex Tyus, who finished with a double-double of 11-points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Freshman G Kenny Boynton tallied 13 points while walk-on sophomore G Kyle McClanahan saw his first meaningful game action of the season (six minutes, two points, one rebound).

The Gators look to rebound from a crushing defeat by returning home Saturday to host the Xavier Musketeers in a rare late season out-of-conference game. UF’s NCAA Tournament hopes may be on the line as the contest airs live at 6 p.m. on ESPN.


  1. Mitch says:

    this team is completely dysfunctional and painful to watch. they get a decent lead and have no concept of how to extend a lead. I’ve yet to see what they hype about Boynton was all about. His quickness may have dominated HS, but not here, and he cant shoot to round out his game. Poorly coached 2nd half. What else is there to say. NIT likely again and the coach still makes 2-3 million a year. The schedule does not set up well for a late surge. Very disappointing.

  2. Andrew says:

    I was at the game and I noticed the huge loss of Kadji this season and Calathes as a true scorer. This season we do not have a true scorer who can have the ball in his hands and get points on the board when needed. The third thing is something I know you are very aware of Adam and that is why Dan Werner still plays 20+ minutes a game. Hopefully we can pull out a big win this weekend and close out the SEC well enough to make the NCAA tournament.

    Thanks Adam

  3. Wingtee says:

    I too cannot believe Dan Werner is a varsity college player , yet he is always in there at crunch time. I am sick of looking at him . This team is devoid of players, Murphy needs more minutes. Yes I think Boynton was overrated, not in the same league with the Kentucky freshmen…. Why do I care about this so much? I am sick !!!!!!

  4. Well I don’t think Donovan can drop him to junior varsity…haha.

  5. Mark01 says:

    I am tired of people blaming Dan Werner. Yes, it’s true he is not very good, but he plays hard when he is asked to. I’m pretty sure he isn’t putting himself in the game. If you want to blame someone blame Billy for having him in the game when it’s clear to the whole world(I even think Dan knows it) that he shouldn’t be in there. Don’t blame a kid for playing hard.

    Our starting 5 is solid, even though Macklin is mostly non-existent when he is in the game. It’s our bench with Werner and Shipman that is terrible. Those two guys aren’t good enough to play elite college b-ball.

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