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Backcourt leads Gators past Gamecocks

Feb 3, 2012 - 7:13 AM Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) - Kenny Boynton netted 24 points and Bradley Beal finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds as No. 12 Florida downed South Carolina, 74-66.

Erving Walker added 14 points and seven assists for the Gators (18-4, 6-1 SEC), who have won six straight games.

Bruce Ellington scored 15 points while Damontre Harris netted 12 points with nine rebounds and six blocks for South Carolina (9-12, 1-6 SEC), which has lost six of its last seven games.

"This is as good as we've been defensively all year," South Carolina head coach Darrin Horn said. "But that's arguably the best offensive team in the league."

Back-to-back three-pointers by Ellington and Anthony Gill pulled the Gamecocks within five, 61-56, with 2:52 to play in the game.

A bit later, Boynton's layup gave Florida a 67-59 advantage, but a Brenton Williams trey made it 67-62.

But Florida went 7-of-8 from the charity stripe in the final 51 seconds to seal the win.

A 14-2 Gators surge gave Florida a commanding 27-10 advantage midway through the opening half. Boynton netted five points while Mike Rosario had four points during the surge.

"The same shots that we knocked down in the first whatever it was, 12 to 14 minutes of the game, were the same shots we could not buy (the rest of the game)," Florida head coach Billy Donovan said. "I thought our guys got too focused on the shots they were missing, instead of playing the game and staying aggressive."

Florida, though, recorded just one point over the final 5:06 of the stanza. South Carolina closed the half on a 9-1 run to pull within 37-28 at the break.

Game Notes

The Gators shot just 37.3 percent, but Florida outrebounded South Carolina 42-30 and 20-10 on the offensive glass...The Gators made just 1-of-13 shots from beyond the arc in the second half.