GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Alabama men’s basketball team beat No. 23 Florida 68-50 on Saturday afternoon.
The 18 points mark the Crimson Tide’s largest margin of victory over the Gators in Gainesville in program history.
The win marked Alabama’s fourth straight victory over an AP top-25 opponent this season as well as its second conference road victory. It also marked the first back-to-back wins at Florida for the Tide since the 1990 and 1991 seasons.
Alabama (15-8, 6-4 SEC) was led by four double-digit scorers, including freshman Collin Sexton (17), junior Donta Hall (14), sophomore Braxton Key (13) and junior Avery Johnson Jr. (10). Hall grabbed 11 rebounds to earn his fourth double-double of the season and did not miss a shot from the field (7-of-7).
After trailing Florida (15-8, 6-4) for all but 38 seconds (during which the two teams were tied) in the first half, Alabama entered halftime down by six points at 33-27. The Tide then burst out of the gate in the second half by scoring the first eight points of the half go up by two at the 17:47 mark.
The teams traded baskets for the next several minutes, but with the scored tied 43-43 with 11:56 left to play, Alabama scored the next 11 points to open a 54-43 lead with 7:29 remaining. The Tide’s defense took over from there, limiting the Gators before stretching its lead to the final 18-point margin of victory.
Overall, Alabama outscored Florida 41-17 in the second half, shooting 58.1 percent (18-of-31) while limiting the Gators to just 22.6 percent shooting (7-of-31) over the final 20 minutes.
After turning the ball over 14 times in the first half, the Tide trimmed that number to just five in the second half. The Crimson Tide’s bench was also key to its comeback, outscoring the Gators 29-1, led by Key’s 13, 10 of which came in the second half. Johnson Jr. also chipped in double digits off the bench with 10.
Alabama continues its road stretch Tuesday night when it travels to Starkville, Miss., to face Mississippi State. Tipoff is scheduled 6 p.m., and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.