March 1, 2011
Box Score |
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -
The Alabama men's basketball team dropped a 78-51 decision to the No. 14 Florida Gators at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center Tuesday.
Freshman guard Trevor Releford led the Crimson Tide with 17 points. Sophomore forward Tony Mitchell added 14 points and eight rebounds while junior forward JaMychal Green had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Alabama now stands at 19-10 on the season, 11-4 in Southeastern Conference play, while Florida improves to 23-6 and 12-3 in the SEC. The Tide remains in the hunt for a share of the SEC regular season title as it takes on Georgia in UA's regular-season finale Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum.
"They came out with great energy in the second half, got some shots to fall and it kind of snowballed on us from there," UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "I didn't feel like we handled adversity very well as a team when it hit tonight. That's a lesson for us to learn."
Coming out of intermission tied at 30, Florida scored nine of the first 13 points of the second half before back-to-back baskets by Green and Mitchell pulled the Tide within one at the 15:05 mark.
Following those baskets, however, Alabama struggled as the Gators outscored the Tide 31-8 over the next ten minutes to take a 70-46 lead with just under five minutes to go. Alabama was unable to mount a comeback as Florida maintained a lead of no fewer than 21 points the rest of the way.
"This is a learning experience for us," Grant said. "One that's a hard lesson for all of us, myself, our players. It's a lesson that will allow us to make ourselves better and make our program stronger as we move forward."
The Alabama defense held the Gators to just 15.7% shooting (3-of-19) over first ten minutes of the game, including 0-of-9 from beyond the three-point arc. Releford gave the Crimson Tide its first lead of the game, 12-11, at the 9:22 mark of a defensive-minded first half.
The lead changed hands eight times following Releford's basket, including six ties, over the final nine minutes of the half before ending in a 30-30 tie.
Neither team held a lead larger than four points in the opening stanza with Mitchell leading the Tide with eight first half points. As a team, Alabama connected on 63.1% (12-of-19) of its shots from inside the three-point line.