Gamecocks take on Gators in search of first SEC victory

No. 19 Florida looks to end its road woes when it travels to South Carolina. Florida is 0-4 in true road games this season, including a 67-56 loss Saturday at Tennessee in the SEC opener.

But Florida rebounded at home, where it has won 15 in a row, with a 70-48 rout of Georgia on Tuesday. South Carolina scored just 12 points in the first half of Tuesday’s 67-57 home loss to Vanderbilt, and has dropped its first two SEC games after winning six of its final seven non-conference contests.

Florida (13-4 overall, 1-1 SEC) leads the SEC and ranks sixth in the nation in scoring average (82.8), but will face a challenge from a South Carolina defense that held Vanderbilt to 22 first-half points.

Kenny Boynton and Bradley Beal each scored 17 points in the victory over Georgia, combining to hit six 3-pointers. Boynton ranks second in the SEC in scoring at 18.9, and Florida’s three-guard lineup of Boynton, Beal and Erving Walker average a combined 46.3 points.

The Gamecocks (8-8, 0-2) rank next-to-last in the SEC in scoring at 63.9 and have scored more than 70 points only three times in 16 games this season. Malik Cooke is the only South Carolina player averaging in double figures (12.7).

Tuesday’s loss to Vanderbilt would have been worse had South Carolina not closed the game on a 14-0 run, cutting a 24-point deficit to 10. The Gamecocks shot 19.2 percent in the first half, but stayed close by forcing 11 turnovers.

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