The Florida Gators basketball team fell to the Alabama Crimson Tide at 61-55 on Saturday evening in Gainesville, Florida.
It was a close basketball game from the tip, aside from Alabama’s first half-high lead of 6 points at 8-2 with 15:38 on the clock. Both teams were shooting horrendously, but the Gators were struggling with ball movement and shot selection as they let the Crimson Tide start off with the lead.
That’s when KeVaughn Allen decided to take matters into his own hands. He put up a beautiful shot from downtown and a reverse layup to tie up the game at 8 with 12:27 to go in the half. The score went back and forth from the Tide to the Gators holding the lead, but Justin Leon is who to thank for Florida not getting a deficit larger than three points.
Leon made three baskets in a row, including two jumpers and a three-ball to keep Florida in the game. The Gators were not able to finally pull away until they took off with a 7-0 run ending with just 8 seconds before halftime.
Not going down without a fight, Alabama’s Justin Coleman hit a buzzer three to put them within four points of Florida at 27-23 as they headed to the locker rooms for half.
Coming back from halftime, Dorian Finney-Smith tried to get the ball rolling on the offense with a layup in the first 20 seconds. However, Alabama was not impressed and quickly answered with a three-point basket cutting the Gators’ lead down to just 3 at 29-26.
Florida struggled to hold on to the lead, but managed to hold on to it for the first seven minutes of the half. That was when back-to-back Bama baskets gave the Tide back a two-point lead at 34-32 with 13:36 to play.
From there, the lead tottered back and forth from the Gators to the Tide until Alabama took off on a 6-0 run ending with a Retin Obasohan jumper with 6:34 on the clock. Luckily for Florida, Obasohan was not around for much longer as he fouled out with 5:35 to go and Arthur Edwards wasn’t far behind. Two Bama starters within a minute of each other were off the court for the rest of the game.
This posed as a great opportunity for Florida to take back the lead, however they just could not produce on offense. They had an obscene amount of opportunities for second chance points, but could not get the ball in the basket.
The Gators were playing hard, but a little too hard it seemed as they continued to send the Crimson Tide to the charity stripe in the final minutes. Florida just could not get themselves back in the game, and Alabama held on to the lead until the game ended at 55-61.
The Florida Gators men’s basketball team won’t have too much time to recover before facing Georgia on Tuesday, February 16 on the road in Athens, Georgia.