Gators lose at South Carolina 86-71

The No. 16 Gators (19-5, 7-4) hung around for a little while with No. 2 South Carolina (23-1, 11-0), but the Gamecocks proved to be too tough for the Gators to handle on Thursday night.

Gators guard Carla Batchelor led the team in scoring with a career-high 19 points. Unfortunately, Gators starters Eleanna Christinaki, Ronni Williams, and Simone Westbrook were held to 16 points combined.

“We didn’t play tough enough to win,” Florida head coach Amanda Butler said. “We’re a lot better than what we showed this evening, but you’ve got to give South Carolina credit for that.”

Gamecocks guard Tiffany Mitchell scored 22 points and dished out 4 assists as she captained her team throughout the night. South Carolina forwards A’ja Wilson and Alaina Coates contributed 27 points and 20 rebounds combined. They were massive forces in the paint all night and created matchup problems with their tremendous sizes.

South Carolina really started to pull away in the second quarter and took a 43-31 lead into the half.

"Law of averages says we're going to have a great stretch at some point. I thought our players settled down and took what Florida gave us,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said.

Florida showed some life in the third quarter as they outscored South Carolina 18-16, but nothing they could do was ever enough to chip away at the Gamecocks hefty lead.

South Carolina finished the game strong and proved why they are just so tough on their home floor (13,324 fans were in attendance) as they ended up beating the Gators by 15 points.

The Gators will stay on the road as they head to Auburn to take on the Tigers at 2:00 PM Sunday afternoon. The game will be aired live on SEC Network.

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