Men's Basketball Falls To Florida, 61-52
Feb. 14, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama men's basketball team fell to 16-9 overall and 5-6 in Southeastern Conference play with a 61-52 loss to the No. 14 Florida Gators Tuesday night at Coleman Coliseum.
Alabama, playing without suspended starters Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green, was led by junior Andrew Steele's 11 points. Sophomore Charles Hankerson added nine points while sophomore Trevor Releford totaled eight points. Freshman Levi Randolph had a game-high nine rebounds.
"In my opinion, we've got to play with more self-confidence and more team pride in terms of the way we approach every single game, no matter what goes into the game," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "We've got to compete every single time we step out there. We've got some young guys right now that need to learn that, in terms of the consistency of what it takes to compete at this level and be the type of players we are capable of being."
The Tide opened the game with a Nick Jacobs dunk, courtesy of a Rodney Cooper assist. From there, Alabama would hold or share the lead for the next two minutes until Florida was able to eventually pull in front, taking a 16-11 advantage at the 8:45 juncture of the half.
The Gator lead wouldn't last long, as Alabama embarked on a 9-0 run over the next 2:37, getting scoring contributions from four different players during the stretch to take its biggest lead of the first half at 20-16. The Gators would eventually tie things up, leaving the score knotted at 26-26 at the half.
Florida opened the second half on a 16-0 run spanning the first five minutes of the half to take a 42-26 lead. The Tide would fight its way back, but could get no closer than 10 points for the remainder of the half until a basket in the final seconds resulted in the game's final nine-point margin.
Florida sophomore forward Patric Young scored a game-high 19 points to pace the Gators, who improve to 20-6 and 8-3 in the SEC.
Up next, Alabama will host the Tennessee Volunteers Saturday, Feb. 18. Tip-off at Coleman Coliseum is set for 12:30 p.m. (CST).