for this game

Florida tops Alabama

Feb 15, 2012 - 4:18 AM Tuscaloosa, AL (Sports Network) - Patric Young scored 19 points as No. 14 Florida downed a shorthanded Alabama team, 61-52, on Tuesday.

The Gators (20-6, 8-3 SEC) had lost two straight, but got 14 points from both Erik Murphy and Bradley Beal, and opened the second half with a 16-0 run to secure the bounce-back win.

Alabama (16-9, 5-6) has dropped two in a row since head coach Anthony Grant suspended four of his best players for disciplinary reasons. Two of those players, Andrew Steele and Trevor Releford, returned on Tuesday, finishing with 11 and eight points, respectively. But the team's top-two scorers, JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell, remained out.

"Give them credit, they came out with great energy and had a lot of success there in the second half," said Grant. "They came out there and kind of hit first, and we didn't respond very well. For the first eight minutes or so, we sort of looked disinterested."

Florida's 16-0 run turned a tie game into a 42-26 advantage less than five minutes into the second half. Young scored six points behind a pair of dunks during the burst, while Murphy and Kenny Boynton both knocked down a three-pointer.

"Coming out in the second half, I thought I had the chance to really help my team and give them some energy and some juice," said Young. "So, whenever we got the ball on a rebound, I just sprinted down and my teammates were able to find me."

The Gators led by double-digits until the closing seconds. The Crimson Tide got within 10, 58-48, with under two minutes to play, but Beal answered with a three-point play, throwing down an emphatic one-handed dunk and making the ensuing free throw to put the game away.

Alabama was down early, trailing 16-11, before scoring nine straight to go in front. Trevor Lacey, Moussa Gueye and Charles Hankerson all scored before Releford knocked down a jumper to make it 20-16.

Beal stopped the run with a three-pointer and the teams closed the half in back-and-forth fashion for a 26-26 game at the break.

Game Notes

Florida has won four straight over Alabama, but the Crimson Tide lead the all-time series, 78-54...Hankerson had nine points...Green is averaging a team-high 14.1 points per game for Alabama, while Mitchell ranks second at 13.1 ppg.