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Wednesday March 1, 2000Men's Hoops Claims a Share of SEC title

Gainesville, FL

Senior guard Kenyan Weaks celebrated his Senior Night with 12 points as the eighth-ranked Universityh of Florida men's basketball team defeated the Carolina 87-67 Wednesday Night in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Weaks, playing in the final home game of his Gator career, helped Florida clinch at least a share of the regular season championship.

"Obviously, its only the second time in school history that the basketball team has won the SEC championship", said Gator coach Billy Donovan. "I don't believe that something like that gets done without this place being the environment its been".

Florida trailed at one time 23-22 in the first half, but an 8-0 run helped the Gators take a 37-32 lead into halftime. Donovan said he didn't say anything special in the locker room to fire his team up.

"We knew that for the first 20 minutes it was going to be nip and tuck, and we just had to hope that our press and our style of play and playing at home would ignite us, and certainly it did to start the second half".

Florida shot a blistering 71 percent after the break and outscored the Gamecocks 50-35 to record their 15th win in 16 home games. Sophomore forward Mike Miller led the Gators with 15 points. Sophomore guard Teddy Dupay added 14. Weaks and junior forward Brent Wright scored 12 apiece. Freshman forward Donnell Harvey scored six points to go with six rebounds.

South Carolina had just one player in double figures - Jamel Bradley. He scored 15 points.

Florida is now 23-5 overall and 12-3 in the SEC. The Gators can win the SEC title outright and clinch the top seed in next week's SEC tournament with a win Saturday at Kentucky. The game will be played at famed Rupp Arena at Noon. The game will be televised regionally by CBS.
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