Gators edge Blazers
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) – Corey Brewer scored a team-high 19 points and
the third-ranked Florida Gators trailed most of the contest before sneaking
past UAB, 75-70, in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic at BankAtlantic Center.
Joakim Noah netted 13 points and also pulled down 13 rebounds for the Gators
(12-2), who have won five straight. Taurean Green added 18 points, including a
couple of key shots down the stretch, while Al Horford came off the bench and
contributed 10 points.
Green finally put Florida ahead for good with 1:32 left in the game when he
made both shots from the charity stripe to give his team a 70-69 lead.
A steal and layup by Green increased the lead to three, and Horford followed
with a free throw, while Brewer added two to close out the contest.
The Blazers (8-6) missed their final six shots from the field and were
outscored 40-32 in the second half.
The Gators made only one shot in their first 10 possessions and trailed 16-5,
attempting to play catchup the rest of the first half. Brewer banked in a
three-point shot with five ticks to play in the first half and Florida trailed
40-33 at intermission.
The Blazers followed up by making the first two shots of the second half for
an 11-point margin before the Gators began their comeback.
Noah’s dunk electrified the crowd, as he passed the ball from one hand to the
other behind his back before making the shot, cutting the deficit to 46-42.
Lee Humphrey’s trey made it 50-47 and Florida pulled even on a three-pointer
by Green. Chris Richard’s layup gave the Gators their first lead, 59-58 with
7:43 left in the contest.
Wen Mukubu scored 20 points for UAB, which had its two-game winning streak
halted. Paul Delaney III had 17 points, while Jeremy Mayfield and Lawrence
Kinnard had 15 points apiece. Mayfield also pulled down nine rebounds.
These two teams have met just once previously, with Florida claiming an 80-73
decision in the 1997 Orange Bowl Classic… The Gators have played at the
Orange Bowl Classic eight times in the past 10 years…Florida is 52-10
against non-conference competition in the past four years…The game drew a
record crowd of 15,709.