Roundup: No. 1 South Carolina routs Florida for 22nd straight win

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South Carolina forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan (21) shoots over Florida guard Kiara Smith (1) while defended by Kristina Moore (14), right, during the first half Thursday in Gainesville. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Special to Gatorsports.com
Mikiah Herbert Harrigan scored 18 points, Tyasha Harris added 16 and No. 1 South Carolina routed Florida 100-67 on Thursday night for its 22nd consecutive win.
The Gamecocks (28-1, 15-0 Southeastern Conference) matched the program record for consecutive victories. The 2015-16 team also won 22 in a row.
This one was decided by halftime. South Carolina made 18 of its first 26 shots (69.2%) to open up a double-digit lead and then used a 16-2 run to go up by 26 in the second quarter. The Gamecocks led 53-30 at the break and made it a 30-point blowout early in the third quarter.
Zada Williams led the Gators (15-13, 6-9) with 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Lavender Briggs added 15.
South Carolina shot 59.2% from the floor, outscoring Florida in the paint, in transition and off the bench.
Florida fell to 0-10 against top-ranked teams in the AP poll. The Gators were hosting the No. 1 team for the first time since 1998 and looking to beat a ranked team for the third time this month.
Florida upset then-No. 14 Kentucky in early February and then-No. 22 Arkansas last weekend. But the Gators never had a chance Thursday, showing just how much work third-year coach Cam Newbauer has to do to close the gap on the league’s top team.
“It’s no joke. No. 1 team in the country. I think they’re better than the national championship team,” Newbauer said, comparing this USC squad with the one that won it all in 2017. “And they play hard.”
Gymnastics: It’s another top-10 opponent for the No. 2 Gators, as they close SEC regular-season competition at No. 10 Georgia at 7 p.m. today on the SEC Network.
Florida (8-0, 6-0 SEC) seeks its first undefeated SEC regular season. Beginning in 1992, league scheduling included meeting all SEC teams in the regular season. Florida’s was unbeaten in the 2007 season with a 5-0-1 record.
Georgia (8-5, 2-3) is the Gators’ fourth top-10 opponent this season.
Softball: No. 6 Florida returns home to Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium for a non-conference Top 10 three-game series against No. 10 Louisiana at 6 p.m. today, 1 pm.
Saturday and 12 p.m. Sunday. It’s the first regular season non-conference Top 10 series at home since the Gators hosted the Ragin’ Cajuns in 2016.
The series can be viewed online via the SEC Network + or listened to live on 92.1-FM/1230-AM.
The Gators (16-2) enter the non-conference series after going 4-1 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The Ragin’ Cajuns (12-4) come to Gainesville after they split a midweek doubleheader with then-ranked No. 3 Texas in Austin on Tuesday.
SEC Indoor Track and Field: The Gators will enter championship season this weekend as they head to College Station, Texas, for this year’s Indoors SEC Championships.
Florida’s men, who were crowned indoor champions in 2019, will look to the defend the title during this weekend’s two-day championship meet while sitting at the No. 3 spot in the latest national rankings. Meanwhile, Florida’s women will enter the weekend ranked 11th nationally. The meet starts at 1 p.m. today.
Men’s tennis: No. 6 Florida returns to action this weekend hosting a pair of conference foes in Alabama (9-3) and Auburn (9-6), in addition to a doubleheader against Mercer (3-8) on Sunday at the Alfred A. Ring Complex. Florida (11-2) opens vs. Crimson Tide at 5 p.m. today, followed by a pair of Sunday doubleheaders with Auburn (12 p.m.) and Mercer (3:30 p.m.).