GAINESVILLE -- Finally, a basketball game to make the SEC proud.
Florida and South Carolina, the two best teams in the SEC East, battled to the last on Tuesday night at the O'Connell Center. Florida won 97-93, holding off a 33-point effort from USC guard Devan Downey. Downey scored 11 points in the final minute of the game, including three three-pointers.
Florida (19-4, 5-2) now leads the SEC East, followed by South Carolina (16-5, 5-3) and Kentucky (16-7, 5-3). Kentucky lost to Mississippi State on Tuesday night. The Wildcats have lost three in a row.
Six Gators scored in double figures: Nick Calathes (22), Alex Tyus (19), Erving Walker (18, off the bench), Chandler Parsons (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Dan Werner. It was a physical game. The two teams combined for 49 fouls with the Gamecocks committing 30.
UF responded by making 31-of-40 free throws. South Carolina made just 10-of-22 from the free-throw line.