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College basketball: ‘Canes, Knights roll; Bulls rolled

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South Carolina 81, South Florida 63

The South Carolina Gamecocks sprinted out to a 24-2 lead against South Florida and cruised to an 81-63 win in Columbia. USF was overwhelmed from the beginning and were never in the game.

South Carolina led 53-22 at halftime and stretched it to 61-25 on a three-pointer by Michael Carrera. If there was a bright spot or the Bulls, it was a 12-0 run in the second half that cut a 33-point deficit to 21. Two Roddy Peters free throws cut the Gamecocks’ lead to 74-60 with 4:40 remaining, but the Bulls would get no closer.

Jaleel Cousins led the Bulls with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Nehemias Morillo also scored 13 points off the bench, while Jahmal McMurray chipped in 11.

Carrera led South Carolina with19 points while Sindarius Thornwell and Duane Notice had 15. The Gamecocks shot 48 percent from the field and forced 19 USF turnovers. The Bulls shot 35 percent.

South Carolina moved to 8-0 on the season while USF slipped to 2-7. Next up for the Bulls is a visit by North Carolina State on December 13.

Miami 88, Charlotte 60

No. 21 Miami put the Charlotte 49ers in a massive early hole and cruised to an 88-60 victory on Saturday in Coral Gables. The Hurricanes never trailed and led 24-6 midway through the first half.

Miami extended the margin to 46-21 at halftime and built the lead to 31 at 66-35 on a layup by Davon Reed with 10:53 remaining. The bench played most of the remaining minutes and cruised to the final margin.

Nine different Hurricanes scored, led by Ja’Quan Newton with 14. Miami shot 54 percent from the field including 7 of 14 three-pointers.

Joseph Uchebo led the 49ers with 12 points. Miami’s defense held Charlotte to 34 percent shooting.

With the victory, Miami moves to 7-1 on the season. On Tuesday, the Florida Gators come to Coral Gables for a 7:00 p.m. game.

 Central Florida 88, Illinois-Chicago 58

The Central Florida Knights got off to a hot start and doused the Illinois-Chicago Flames, 88-58  on Saturday night. UCF never trailed as they held the Flames without a basket over the first 6:25 of the game.

From that early 13-1 advantage, the Knights poured it on and led, 43-21 at halftime. The Knights kept going in the second half. At the midway point, they had a 62-37 lead. Illinois-Chicago would get no closer than 23 points the rest of the way.

Daiquan Walker led UCF with 21 points while Dikembe Dixson led the Flames with 22.

Central Florida (3-3) hosts Massachusetts on Tuesday. Tip-off is 7:00 p.m.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at

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