The South Carolina Gamecocks picked up a big win on Wednesday over the Florida Gators in SEC basketball action. The game ended the nation’s longest streak by a team with at least one three-pointer at 843 straight games for the Gators ans they went 0-17 from behind the arc. That spanned over 24 years. The last time Florida failed to hit a trey in a game we were getting ready for the first Bill Clinton inauguration.
Florida not hurt themselves at the arc, they shot themselves in the foot at the free throw line going only 15-28. In a four point loss, those two stats really hurt. South Carolina played great defense, especially at the start of the second half when they went on a 14-2 run to turn a seven point Gators lead into a five point advantage.
With two of the best defenses in the league going head to head to see which would be the only unbeaten team in the SEC not named Kentucky, the game lived up to its billing as neither team scored in the first six minutes, going a combined 0-13 from the floor.
South Carolina shot a terrible 29% from the field and had 15 turnovers, but they hit some big threes late in the game as Sindarius Thornwell got hot. He ended the game with 20 points for the #24 Gamecocks, 15-3 overall and 5-0 in the SEC. This sets up a big game in Saturday between South Carolina and #6 Kentucky for the lead in the SEC. The #19 Gators lost their three-point streak but also had a seven game win streak snapped as they fell to 14-4 and 5-1. They will face Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Carolina-Kentucky will be a battle of wills. UK has a very high powered offense led by Malik Monk, D’Aaron Fox and Isaiah Briscoe. The Cats have broken 100 points several times this season against teams as good as North Carolina and Texas A&M. So South Carolina’s defense will be facing a stern test.
But teams like Arkansas and Mississippi State have been able to hang with Kentucky for a while so the Gamecocks do have a decent chance. In the end though, the Wildcats will just have too many weapons and should be able to prevail against the stingy Gamecocks.