Florida surges in second-half to beat Alabama
by David Jones, USA TODAY Sports
GAINESVILLE — Trailing and looking like the SEC leadership was about to be lost, Florida scored 23 of the final 28 points to come from eight points behind in the second half to beat Alabama 64-52 on Saturday.
Florida (23-5 overall, 13-3 in the SEC) has only a home date with Vanderbilt on Wednesday and a road date at Kentucky next Saturday remaining in the regular season schedule.
Alabama (19-10, 11-5) scored just three points in almost 10 minutes. Nick Jacobs’ basket gave the Tide a 47-41 lead at athe 9:57 mark. ‘Bama didn’t get another field goal under Andrew Steele scored at 2:29.
By then the Gators, 14-0 at home this season, had taken over. The Tide scored just 11 points in the final 9:57 of the game.
The first 20 minutes was a half of runs, as well.
Alabama led for the last time at 8-7 on Trevor Releford’s only bucket of the half at 16:27. Florida then scored 12 straight points _ four points each by Kenny Boynton (13 points) and Erik Murphy (15 points, eigtht rebounds), a pair of free throws by Mike Rosario – who went over the career 1,600 points mark – and a basket off a rebound by Casey Prather. That’s when Michael Frazier (concussion) and Will Yeguete (knee surgery) came into the game. Yeguete’s return was greeted with a standing ovation.
But so much for momentum.
The Crimson Tide, which had won six of seven coming into the game, chipped away and got the deficit down to 24-22 with 5:09 left. A short hook shot by Patric Young allowed the Gators to go into the locker room up 29-26.
Florida had just two field goals and scored just eight points in the last 10 minutes, 22 seconds of the first half.
Murphy, who had nine points in the first half, missed the last 5:47 after getting his second foul of the game.
The Gators’ dryspell would continue early in the second half as well as Alabama pulled ahead 45-37 on Releford’s layup
with 12:24 left in the game. Florida’s 8-2 run made it a one-point game at 8:58 when … [For more on Florida surges in second-half to beat Alabama, click here.]