The University of Alabama men’s basketball team had another statement game on Saturday, overcoming a 10-point deficit on the road to win going-away at No. 23 Florida, 68-50.
Collin Sexton scored 17 points to lead all scorers. Alabama shot 56 percent from the field, while the Gators were just 33 percent.
Although Alabama (15-8, 6-4 SEC) was down by six points at halftime, 33-27, following a slow start and 14 turnovers before the break. It outscored Florida 41-17 in the second half.
The Crimson Tide also had a huge advantage in bench scoring, 29-1, although part of that had to do with starting junior forward Daniel Giddens. Sophomore sophomore Braxton Key reached double digits for just the third time this season with 13 points and junior Avery Johnson Jr. scored 10.
Alabama coach Avery Johnson, "Ball movement was terrific in the second half, our bench was terrific."
— Kevin Brockway (@gatorhoops) February 3, 2018
1. Alabama has no problem getting up for big games
Combined with a win in 2006, Alabama won back-to-back games in Gainesville for the first time since 1990-91. Coming in, the Gators had won 12 of the last 13 games in the series, and 23 of the last 27. Alabama has no trouble getting up for big games
The Crimson Tide are 4-1 against ranked opponents this season, which bodes well for its NCAA Tournament chances.
During its past three games Alabama has gone from defeating No. 12 Oklahoma 80-73, to taking a disappointing 69-60 home loss to Missouri on Wednesday, to winning at Florida (15-8, 6-4).
However, the loss to the Tigers looked better on Saturday when they defeated Kentucky at home. Alabama visits Mississippi State on Tuesday night and hosts No. 18 Tennessee on Saturday.
2. Alabama dominated in the paint
The Crimson Tide had a scoring advantage of 46-26 in the paint, and 43-25 in rebounds.
Junior forward Donta Hall, who had wrist surgery last month, scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his fourth fourth double-double of the season.
He shot 100 percent (7-for-7) from the field.
3. Sexton still isn’t 100 percent
The freshman guard had eight rebounds, six assistant and two steals to go with his 17 points, but is still less than full strength from his abdominal injury. Sexton was using a heating pad when on the bench, or using an exercise bike.
He played 32 minutes for the the straight game after being limited to 20 against Ole Miss in his return following a two-game absence.
“Here’s a kid that’s capable of playing 40 minutes,” Coach Avery Johnson said last week. “He’s got great stamina, that’s just God-given. That’s not because of something we did here at Alabama.”