When Florida jumped out to an early 12-2 lead over Alabama on Saturday, it looked like the Gators were on their way to a blowout. That lead evaporated almost as fast as it grew and Florida would head into the locker room at halftime tied with the Crimson Tide.
The second half saw Bama give Florida much of the same as the Gators’ defense didn’t play up to it’s usual standards.
“If you play defense the way we did tonight, you’re not going to win. Thank God we had some offense today that helped us,” said Florida head coach Billy Donovan.
That offense came in the form of 62 percent shooting from the field and a second-half surge that saw the No. 3 Gators improve to 21-2 (10-0 SEC) on the season. The loss dropped the Anthony Grant-led Tide to 9-14 (3-7 SEC).
For the first time in over two months, all five Florida starters scored in double digits. The Gators were led senior guard Scottie Wilbekin’s 16. Senior center Patric Young added 11 and a highlight-reel block.
The Gators set a season high with 22 assists, but according to one Florida player, you aren’t going to hear Donovan praise them for that.
“Coach D is not going to tell us about that. As a coach, he wants us to see what we did wrong and get better from that. I think this game can help us learn. It better. Other teams are going to watch this film and see how we broke down and they’re going to run the same stuff,” said senior forward Will Yeguete.
The Gators have Sunday and Monday off before traveling to Knoxville, TN on Tuesday to take on 15-8 (6-4 SEC) Tennessee.