Green helps Florida hold off Alabama
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) – Taurean Green scored 20 points as top-
ranked Florida battled back from an early 17-point deficit to beat No. 25
Alabama, 76-67, at the O’Connell Center.
Corey Brewer added 16 points, four assists and three steals for the Gators
(24-2, 11-0 SEC), who won their 17th straight game. Al Horford chipped in with
12 points and six rebounds, while Joakim Noah finished with 10 points and
Richard Hendrix had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Crimson Tide (18-7,
5-6), who lost for the seventh consecutive time in Gainesville. Alonzo Gee
tallied 15 points with six boards but had six turnovers, while Jermareo
Davidson donated 13 points.
The Gators founds themselves down by 11 points after a sluggish first half and
Alabama continued to hold them at arm’s length in the opening moments of the
final frame. Mykal Riley’s layup with 16:26 left in the game gave the Tide a
Florida finally awoke at that point and began chipping away over the next
several minutes. A 12-2 run, capped by a Horford jumper drew the Gators
within a point, 52-51, with 11 minutes to play.
Things remained tight from there. Gee stuck a jumper to deadlock things at 64
with just 4:26 to go, but Florida finished the game with a 12-3 flurry.
Defense took over for a while as Horford’s free throw was the only point put
up in the next two-plus minutes. Green then broke through, however, and
connected on a three to give the defending national champs a bit of breathing
room, 68-64, with 2:08 remaining.
Alabama continued to struggle from there and four consecutive free throws by
Green over the next 1 1/2 minutes put the game away, 72-64.
The Tide roared out of the blocks with an 11-0 run to start the game.
Brandon Hollinger highlighted the run with a three and Gee finished it with a
lay-in less than four minutes into the game.
Horford finally stopped the bleeding and got the Gators on the board with a
layup but Alabama continued to play well. A pair of free throws by Davidson,
with under 12 minutes to go in the half gave the Crimson Tide their largest
Florida responded and played a little better from there but still trailed,
42-31, at intermission.
Florida is a perfect 16-0 at home, while Alabama is just 2-6 in true road
games…Florida head coach Billy Donovan picked up career-win number 250 with
the victory…UF still trails the all-time series by a count of 72-53, but has
closed the gap a bit with wins in 12 of the last 14 meetings.