Originally created 02/26/03

Gators rout Gamecocks



GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Matt Bonner scored 18 points and No. 4 Florida shot 78 percent in the second half Tuesday night in a 96-63 victory over South Carolina that extended the Gators' home winning streak to a school-record 19 games.

In a dazzling display of unselfish play and 3-point shooting, Florida (23-4, 11-2 Southeastern Conference) repeatedly set each other up for uncontested jumpers and layups by making the extra pass. They pulled away in the closing minutes of the opening half, then broke it open by making 21 of 27 shots the rest of the way.

Florida surpassed its win total for last season and equaled the school mark for most victories during the regular season set in 1993-94 and matched three years ago.

South Carolina (11-13, 4-9) lost its second in a row following a four-game winning streak. The Gamecocks lost to Florida by two points at home on Jan. 28, but have only won once in 11 games away from the Carolina Center.

Rolando Howell led South Carolina with 16 points and six rebounds. Kerbell Brown and Tony Kitchings each had 22 points in South Carolina's loss to Florida last month, but neither got into a rhythm Tuesday night.