By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Scottie Wilbekin scored 17 points before getting helped to the locker room with a sprained right ankle, and No. 10 Florida opened Southeastern Conference play with a 74-58 victory against South Carolina on Wednesday night.
Casey Prather and Patric Young added 13 points apiece for the Gators, (12-2, 1-0) who won their sixth straight and tied a school record by winning their 24th consecutive home game.
A fast start and strong finish were keys to the latest victory in the O'Connell Center.
But Wilbekin's injury was all that mattered afterward. The senior point guard badly sprained the same ankle Dec. 2 against Connecticut. He entered the game averaging 11.8 points and 4.0 assists.
He was driving up for a layup with just under 3 minutes to play and came down awkwardly on his right foot.
Tyrone Johnson led South Carolina (7-7, 0-1) with 12 points.
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