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Wednesday January 8, 2014At the Buzzer: Florida 74, South Carolina 58

Chris Harry
By Chris Harry
GatorZone.com Senior Writer

AT THE BUZZER -
FLORIDA 74, SOUTH CAROLINA 58

WHAT HAPPENED: Senior guard Scottie Wilbekin scored 17 points and senior center Patric Young added 13 points and seven rebounds to lead the 10th-ranked Gators to their fifth straight win and school record-tying 24th straight victory at the O’Connell Center. Senior forward Casey Prather had 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting for UF. 

WHAT IT MEANS: Always good to get the conference season off on a winning note. Ask the six other SEC teams that will take a 1-0 league mark into the weekend.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Wilbekin jumped for a rebound late in the game and came down awkwardly, rolling his right ankle. He was carried to the locker room and his status was undetermined when the game ended.

STAGGERING STATISTIC: The Gators had just two second-chance points, which is a reflection of rebounding. UF was out-fought on the glass by the smaller Gamecocks 28-25. That’s a concern for Coach Billy Donovan, especially after UF smashed its previous four opponents by double-digits on the glass (the first time the Gators had a four-game run like that since 2005).

SUBPLOT: Freshman forward Chris Walker, who joined the team Dec. 17, remains sidelined while he awaits a decision from the NCAA regarding his eligibility. Walker, the McDonald’s All-American who led Bonifay (Fla.) Holmes County High to the Class 1A state title last spring, did not qualify academic to enter UF in the fall, but rallied for his course work to gained admittance to the school for the spring semester.

UP NEXT: The Gators (12-2, 1-0) play their SEC road opener at Arkansas (11-2), which debuted its league schedule Wednesday night with a trip to Texas A&M, the Razorbacks first road game of the year. UF went to Fayetteville last year and was destroyed 80-69.

 

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