GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida held Charleston Southern to 25.5 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers to hand the Bucs a 76-46 defeat Friday at the O'Connell Center.
CSU (1-1) trailed by just ten points late in the first half before Florida (1-1) held the Bucs scoreless for a 10:14 stretch spanning both halves during an 18-0 run. The Gators would push their lead to as many as 36 to rebound from an ugly loss at rival and No. 17 Florida State in Tuesday's opener.
KeVaughn Allen paced a balanced scoring effort with 14 points and added five steals, including four in the first half as Florida forced 14 turnovers to open a comfortable margin. Deaundre Ballard chipped in 12 points, six rebounds and two steals.
Christian Keeling led CSU with 18 points, but required 17 shots. Dontrelle Shuler tallied all 11 of his points in the opening stanza and made several impressive plays off the dribble to provide CSU a bright spot.
How It Happened
- Shuler's three-point play with 2:57 left in the first half brought CSU within 30-20, but the Bucs would not score again until the 12:46 mark of the second half. Six different Gators scored in between to push Florida ahead 48-20.
- Three-pointers by Keith Stone, Noah Locke and Deaundre Ballard helped Florida take its largest lead, 67-31, with 7:21 remaining.
- CSU hung around for most of the first half behind Shuler, who tallied 11 of the Bucs' 20 points. Much like in Tuesday's opener against Columbia International, he showed terrific quickness to pick his way through the Gator defense multiple times.
Inside the Numbers
- CSU out-rebounded Florida by two in the first half before the Gators won the overall rebounding battle, 39-39. The Bucs were particularly active on the offensive glass early, grabbing seven offensive boards by halftime.
- Florida's ability to keep CSU in front made it difficult for the Bucs to get open looks throughout. The Bucs missed 14 consecutive shots during their 10:14 drought.
- Keeling found his range late, connected on a pair of threes while recording 14 of his 18 points following intermission.
CSU returns to the Buc Dome to host South Carolina State on Tuesday. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.