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Florida gets back on track against South Carolina

Feb 22, 2007 - 3:12 AM GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Florida used its muscle to get back on the winning track.

Al Horford scored 20 points to lead the third-ranked Gators to a 63-49 Southeastern Conference victory over South Carolina.

Florida (24-3, 11-1 SEC East) had a 17-game winning streak snapped Saturday at Vanderbilt, a loss that cost it the No. 1 spot in the polls.

Horford and the rest of the Gators' frontline made sure there would be no repeat. A junior center, Horford scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half to help quell repeated rallies by the Gamecocks (13-13, 3-10).

Backup forward Chris Richard added 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting while Corey Brewer grabbed 13 rebounds and center Joakim Noah 12 for Florida. Noah also scored six points to go over 1,000 for his career.

The Gators took control with an 18-0 first-half run to take a 26-8 lead en route to a 30-13 cushion at halftime.

Horford's 10th point of the second half gave Florida a 50-34 lead with 8 1/2 minutes left, but South Carolina ran off seven straight points to get the lead under double digits, 50-41, with 4:50 left.

The Gators' big men responded as Noah hit a follow shot, Horford canned a jumper and Richard scored on a layup to push the lead to 56-42 with just over two minutes to play.

Tre Kelley scored 19 points to lead the Gamecocks, who shot 36 percent (20-of-57).

    --- --- -----
    SOUTH CAROLINA 13 36 49
    FLORIDA (3) 30 33 63 FINAL

    Feb 21 9:49 PM


    Feb 21 8:48 PM