South Carolina Defeats Florida
South Carolina Gamecocks come on and raise up! Take your shirt off, twist it around your hand and spin it like a helicopter!
These lyrics to rapper Petey Pablo’s song Raise Up are flowing through the heads of the South Carolina Gamecocks and fans.
South Carolina made history Sunday with a win over the Florida Gators to advance to their first ever Final Four. The Gamecocks soared past the Gators 77-70.
The Cocks have shown how elite their defense can be. From blowouts to closing out games, they are no joke anymore putting the Southeastern Conference on notice in basketball.
The game had everything any viewer would want. It went down to the end and no one ever had full control.
The Gamecocks followed lead of senior Sindarius Thornwell. He now sits at sixth all-time in most points scored in the tournament by a SEC player according to ESPN.
Thornwell finished the game with 26 points accompanied with seven rebounds and two steals. He expanded on his all-around play going 9-10 from the free throw line, making most in the clutch. He tells Associated Press how he grasped the opportunity.
“I just made plays,” Thornwell said. “Plays needed to be made down the stretch and I stepped up and made plays.”
South Carolina’s PJ Dozier, Maik Kotsar and Chris Silva pitched in as well, all scoring in double figures.
In addition, Silva was a beast on the boards with nine rebounds.
Florida’s top scorer was Justin Leon with 18. He would add six rebounds and a steal to his stat total.
Now, the Gators would hold the lead at the end of the half 33-40. They shot 7-12 from the three-point line in the first half. South Carolina shut that down holding them 0-14 in the second.
Yet, the Cocks only shot 49% from the field their defense held Florida to 41.7%. South Carolina would lead them in turnovers and rebounds once the game concluded.
In fact, the Gamecocks closed out the game with their defensive intensity. They forced stop after stop to close out the game in the victory.
“Gamecock Nation, we heard you loud and clear,” coach Frank Martin roared as the team prepared to cut down the nets. “We’ll see you in Phoenix.”
Now, South Carolina will now face Gonzaga University in the Final Four in their defensive pursuit to a NCAA championship.
Watch: South Carolina Gamecocks Defeat Florida Gators