Gamecocks Notch 22nd Straight Win at Florida

Gamecocks Notch 22nd Straight Win at Florida
South Carolina forward Mikiah Herbert Harrigan (21) looks to shoot while defended by Florida guard Kristina Moore (14) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough) (Source: Gary McCullough)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) 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 victory.

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.

Herbert Harrigan did most of her damage in the opening 20 minutes. Harris took over from there, scoring six points in the third. She added eight assists.

Aliyah Boston chipped in 11 points and nine rebounds, finishing one board shy of her 12th double-double this season. Zia Cooke also had 11 points, and LeLe Grissett ended up with 10 - giving the Gamecocks five players in double figures as they reached the century mark for the first time since late November.

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.

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: Anything short of the Final Four, and maybe a second national championship in four years, would be a disappointment for the Gamecocks. They are 10-1 against ranked teams, including wins over defending national champion Baylor and perennial powerhouse UConn.

Florida: With 15 wins, including six in the SEC, the Gators have surpassed their win total from each of the last two seasons. Newbauer seems to have the program on the right track, but significant progress has been slow.

GAMECHANGER Tied at 14-14 with 4:55 left in the first quarter, the Gamecocks closed the period on a 15-7 run to take control of the game and finish the opening frame with a 31-21 advantage. KEY STAT After not connecting from deep against Kentucky, South Carolina went 7-of-12 from 3-point range at Florida, posting a .583 shooting percentage, its highest mark in SEC play. NOTABLES

  • The Gamecocks notched their 22nd consecutive win, tying the longest win streak in program history set by the 2015-16 squad.
  • Carolina crossed the century mark for the first time in SEC play since it scored 102 point at Alabama back on Jan. 8, 2015. This the fifth time the Gamecocks have cracked 100 points on the road in team history.
  • The Garnet and Black have scored 90+ points in SEC play six times, the most for any team since Tennessee did it in 2000-01.
  • Mikiah Herbert Harrigan was a force on both ends of the floor tonight, tallying two blocks to give her 201 for her career. She led all scorers with 18 points, 15 of which came in the first half.
  • Tyasha Harris dropped 16 points and a game-high eight assists, moving her into the SEC's all-time top 10 in career assists.
  • Aliyah Boston narrowly missed out on a double-double, finishing with 11 points and nine rebounds in just 20 minutes on the court.
  • Zia Cooke finished with 11 points. The freshman has scored in double figures in 12 SEC games.
  • LeLe Grissett provided a second half spark for the Gamecocks with eight points off the bench in the half. She finished with 10, her second-straight game in double figures.

UP NEXT The Gamecocks (28-1, 15-0 SEC) return to Colonial Life Arena for Senior Day and a matchup with #12/14 Texas A&M. Tipoff is set for Noon with the game airing on ESPN2.