Frazier shoots No. 1 Florida to road win

The Florida offense struggled in the first half, taking just a two-point lead over the Gamecocks to the locker room. Five three-pointers from Michael Frazier accounted for 15 of the Gators' 28 first-half points, but the sophomore guard was just getting started. Frazier ended the game with a school record 11 three-pointers, pushing the Gators to a 72-46 win at South Carolina.

"It was really interesting," Florida coach Billy Donovan said on the postgame radio show. "You look at the stat sheet and we don't have one guy in double figures because it's all 5, 6 or 7, and then you see a big 37 there. He put on some shooting performance tonight. He shot it well in the first half, and in the second half, he exploded."

Frazier hit 11 of his 18 three-point attempts on the night, going 1-3 on two-point shots from the field. He was the only Florida player in double figures, but his hot shooting clinched the game and led the Gators to 44 second-half points.

His 11 three-points set a new school record. It was also the record for three-pointers made in a Southeastern Conference game. Frazier's night ended with 37 points, tying the record for most points scored since Billy Donovan took over at Florida, previously set by Joakim Noah against Georgia in 2006.

"Well Jo did it a little differently," Donovan said with a laugh. "Jo had to work a little harder. Jo was only getting two points per basket.

While the Florida offense settled in and secured an easy win in the second half, the defense also played a factor. The Gamecocks shot just 23 percent in the second half and scored only 20 points. After South Carolina scored only 26 points in the first half, the second-half offensive explosion for Florida made the game a blowout for the final 10 minutes.

The Gators went on a 26-11 run over the final 10:05 to ruin any South Carolina hopes for an upset.

Defensive ace Scottie Wilbekin lived up to his reputation on Tuesday. Despite a disappointing two-point effort on offense, Wilbekin locked down South Carolina leading scorer Brenton Williams, holding him to seven points on 2-9 shooting from the field.

Florida was being outrebounded by nine in the first half, which was an emphasis at halftime. Donovan's encouragement helped Florida end up winning the rebounding effort 38-34.

"We were -9 on the glass and came back out and outrebounded them, limiting their second-chance opportunities," Donovan said. "Our defense and hustle plays were really good in the second half of the game."

The Gators completed a perfect conference road schedule for the first time in program history. Florida also became the fourth team in SEC history to win 17 conference games and the first since 1986.

Its seniors have led the team, and that four-man class will be honored on Saturday. The Gators host Kentucky at 12 p.m. but will honor Casey Prather, Scottie Wilbekin, Will Yeguete and Patric Young before tip off. It'll be an emotional day after the most successful regular seasons in Florida history.

"They've done some special things," Donovan said. "It's going to be a sad day and a happy day. It's going to be sad that it'll be my last opportunity to coach these guys in the O'Dome. I know it'll be a great crowd because these guys have meant and done so much for this program. They've got more wins in the regular season than any other team in the history of Florida basketball. They have the potential to close out maybe the greatest non-conference and conference season in our history. They've done a lot of special things, not to mention three of the last four SEC championships.

"I hope emotionally that, once all the ceremonies are over, we can get into playing basketball because it's a hard day for seniors to play."

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