The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Colonial Life Arena - Columbia, SC

No. 2 Gamecocks bounce back with win over No. 16 Gators

2297 days ago
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Tiffany Mitchell scored 22 points, Alaina Coates had her 13th double-double this season with 14 points and 11 rebounds and No. 2 South Carolina bounced back from its loss to top-ranked UConn with an 86-71 victory over No. 16 Florida on Thursday night.

The Gamecocks (23-1, 11-0 Southeastern Conference) overcame a sluggish start -- likely a hangover from its 66-54 showdown loss to the Huskies here Monday night. They went on a 16-0 run in the second quarter to take control, up 35-16.

The Gators (19-5, 7-4) closed to 65-57 with seven minutes left when Coates had two inside baskets to restore South Carolina's double-digit lead.

A'ja Wilson added to South Carolina's dominance underneath with 13 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.

Carla Batchelor had a career-high 18 points to lead the Gators, who have lost seven straight to South Carolina.

South Carolina won its 24th straight SEC game at home, a streak that dates to February 2013.

It was certainly not the atmosphere surrounding Monday's loss this time at Colonial Life Arena and it seemed to spread to the Gamecocks slow first quarter when they had trouble managing Florida's full-court pressure and swarming defense.

South Carolina finally got going in the second quarter and turned a tight game into a blowout.

Wilson had four points and three blocks in the stretch, while Bianca Cuevas and Tina Roy hit 3-pointers to extend the lead. When Jatarie White scored on an inside bucket, the Gamecocks were ahead 35-16.

Florida missed its first nine shots of the period to fall behind. The Gators rallied to close the quarter on a 15-8 run and trailed 43-31 at the half.

Wilson and Coates again did their damage inside against the Gators, combining for 11 points and 12 rebounds in the first two quarters.

South Carolina showed off its defense, as well, holding Florida's two leading scorers in Ronni Williams and Eleanna Christinaki to 11 points combined on 4 of 18 shooting. Williams and Christinaki came in averaging nearly 22 points a game between them.

For Coates, it was her 35th career game with double-figure points and rebounds. She had just two points against UConn on Monday night.

TIP-INS

Florida: The Gators are ninth nationally in scoring offense at 81 points a game in large part because of their depth. Nine players score at least 5.1 points a game.

South Carolina: This was the Gamecocks seventh game against a ranked SEC opponent this season, the most in the league so far.

UP NEXT

Florida is at Auburn on Sunday

South Carolina travels to No. 25 Tennessee on Monday night.