SC upset No. 20 Florida by a score of 77-72, Wednesday night.
Auburn (17-2 overall, 5-1 in SEC play) is the last remaining 1-loss team in SEC play.
SC (13-7, 4-4) has been up and done this season, but the Gamecocks now have notable wins over Kentucky and Florida over the last two weeks.
Luwane Popkins hit 6 of 10 from long range and finished with 25 points to lead UMass (10-11, 3-5). However, the South Carolina Gamecocks have won three of the last four meetings against the Florida Gators and enters this contest as a really solid defensive club that's allowed 70 or less points in three of their last four games. They drove to the basket and found success in the paint at the rim. Or not enough of them. KeVaughn Allen added 15 for the Gators, who shot 6 of 23 from 3-point range.
But the Gators capitalized on their final possession before halftime with a layup from Koulechov to cut their deficit to 39-37.
The Florida Gators have won five straight home games. Silva leads in rebounds with 7.8 while Hassani Gravett tops in assists with 3.7 per game.
But just as it was in the first half, any sense of control of this game was tenuous and short-lived. The Gators went 3-of-12 from beyond the arc in the final twenty minutes, while the Gamecocks sunk 4-of-8 attempts.
SC would not go away, though.
Koulechov sank a short turnaround jumper to cut the deficit to 67-64, but Silva threw down a dunk on the other end to restore the 5-point margin. With 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds, Florida's Chris Chiozza played well.
Fox chose SC over other offers from Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Louisville, Miami, and others.
Chiozza missed on the other end, and a replay review gave possession out of bounds to SC with 1:23 on the clock. The Gators shot 43% from the field, 26% from deep and 78% from the free throw line. With three of Florida's big men still out due to injuries, Dontay Bassett came off the bench for career highs in minutes (13) and points (9).
Check back for a full recap and postgame reaction.
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