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No. 23 Florida faces tough test vs. South Carolina

Special to Gatorsports.com
South Carolina Gamecocks guard AJ Lawson drives against Auburn in the first half of a game played last month at Colonial Life Arena.

South Carolina (4-6, 2-4 SEC) vs.        No. 23 Florida (10-4, 6-3)

O'Connell Center, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., SEC Network

BOTTOM LINE: No. 23 Florida presents a tough challenge for South Carolina. South Carolina has lost both of its games against ranked teams this season. Florida has moved up to No. 23 in the latest coaches rankings following wins over Vanderbilt and West Virginia last week.

BIG MEN ON CAMPUS: Florida's Tre Mann has averaged 14.3 points and 5.1 rebounds while Colin Castleton has put up 12.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. The Gators are averaging 82.5 points during their modest winning streak, getting consistent contributions from Castleton and fellow forward Omar Payne. For the Gamecocks, AJ Lawson has averaged 17.2 points while Jermaine Couisnard has put up 12.1 points.

SEC IMPROVEMENT: The Gamecocks have scored 72.4 points per game against conference opponents, an improvement from the 69 per game they managed against non-conference competition.

ACCURATE AJ: Lawson has connected on 37.7 percent of the 77 3-pointers he's attempted and has gone 12 for 21 over his last three games. He's also converted 69.2 percent of his foul shots this season.

TWO STREAKS: South Carolina has dropped its last four road games, scoring 74.5 points and allowing 84 points during those contests. Florida has won its last three home games, scoring an average of 75 points while giving up 61.

ASSIST RATIOS: The Gators have recently gotten baskets via assists more often than the Gamecocks. Florida has 45 assists on 91 field goals (49.5 percent) over its previous three outings while South Carolina has assists on 43 of 92 field goals (46.7 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: South Carolina has scored 80 points while allowing 85.4 points over its last five games. Florida has averaged 79.8 points and given up only 71.2 over its last five.

Note: Rankings are from The Ferris Mowers Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll, powered by USA TODAY Sports, parent company of Gatorsports.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.