It was another eventful night in the Alabama basketball world. It wasn’t quite what Anthony Grant had in mind before facing Florida. His old boss handed down a fourth straight loss in the series. Here’s the story:
TUSCALOOSA — It happens that fast, sometimes.
From an intermission tie, to a second-half rout, Alabama saw its NCAA tournament hopes fade a little further Tuesday night. Florida took control by force in a 61-52 win by scoring the first 16 points of a dizzying second half.
Most of the less-than-capacity holiday crowd had left before the Crimson Tide’s second straight loss further damaged the once-promising season.
“We’re getting hit in the face with reality right now,” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. “How do we respond to that?”
Still without suspended starters Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green, Alabama got 19 the two who returned after one-game absences. Andrew Steele had a team-high 11 while Trevor Releford added 8.
Neither could slow the outburst that opened the second half.
Florida needed just over five minutes to score the first 16 points and effectively end the game. Alabama (16-9, 5-6) didn’t manage a field goal for the first 9:00 while missing its first 10 shots. That followed its best first-half shooting percentage of SEC play (58.8).
Careless passing was an issue in both halves. Alabama had a season-high 18 turnovers that Florida turned into 24 points on the other end.
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