Gators win without suspended center

Dorian Finney-Smith scored 20 points and Michael Frazier II had 15 off the bench as Florida rallied past South Carolina in the second half to open SEC play with a 72-68 victory in Columbia, S.C. The Gators (8-6, 1-0) snapped a two-game losing streak and beat the Gamecocks ­(9-4, 0-1) for a seventh consecutive time without starting center Jon Horford, suspended for conduct detrimental to the team by coach Billy Donovan. "The other games, they don't matter anymore," Finney-Smith said. "We're going to take it one game at a time and get back to Florida's culture."

• FRESHMEN LEAD DUKE: Freshman forward Justise Winslow scored a season-high 20 points and No. 2 Duke held on to beat Wake Forest 73-65. Jahlil Okafor added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Blue Devils (14-0, 2-0 ACC). Tyus Jones, a point guard from Apple Valley, had eight points and four assists. Okafor and Jones are both freshmen. Devin Thomas scored 24 points for the Demon Deacons (8-8, 0-3).

• GOOD TIMING: Wayne Selden made three consecutive baskets when No. 12 Kansas (12-2, 1-0 Big 12) needed them most late in the game, and the visiting Jayhawks held on for a 56-55 victory over No. 21 Baylor. It was their 24th consecutive win in a conference opener. Selden, who made the go-ahead basket, had nine points. Kenny Chery led Baylor (11-3, 0-2) with 25 points.

• A SECOND-HALF STAR: Chris Jones had his second consecutive 20-point second half as No. 5 Louisville beat visiting Clemson 58-52. Louisville trailed 22-18 at halftime after shooting 22 percent, but Jones and fellow guard Terry Rozier helped the Cardinals (14-1, 2-0 ACC) open the second half with a 17-0 run. Jones finished with 22 points.

• ORANGE SQUEEZE OUT WIN: Rakeem Christmas scored 18 points and hit the go-ahead free throw with 12 seconds left to help Syracuse (11-4, 2-0 ACC) edge Georgia Tech (9-5, 0-2) 46-45 in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets' Chris Bolden missed a three-point attempt with two seconds left and Quinton Stephens blew the put-back.

• VCU KEEPS ROLLING: Treveon Graham had 15 points and 10 rebounds for No. 20 VCU, which held Davidson's long-range shooters in check in a 71-65 victory in Richmond. VCU (12-3, 2-0 Atlantic 10) built a 13-point lead midway through the second half and got its seventh consecutive victory.


• SMITH KEEPS GOING — AND WINNING: St. John's erased a seven-point deficit with 45 seconds left in regulation and outscored Hamline 16-7 in overtime to beat the visiting Pipers 82-73. The win gave Johnnies coach Jim Smith, in his 51st season at the same school, his 775th career victory.


• RUTGERS STRUGGLES: Betnijah Laney had 20 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and five steals to help No. 24 Rutgers recover from blowing an 18-point second half lead to beat visiting Michigan 81-68. "We got comfortable a little," Laney said. "Yes, it was a wake-up call." The Scarlet Knights (11-4, 2-2 Big Ten) built a 45-27 lead early in the second half before Michigan (10-5, 2-2) rallied to tie the score at 51.