SEC tournament: Tide loses to Florida in semifinals
by Joe Medley
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Alabama seemingly had its SEC semifinal against Florida in hand Saturday. Now, the Crimson Tide’s NCAA fate rests in the selection committee’s hands after a 61-51 loss to the Gators.

Led by Kenny Boynton, Florida mounted a 15-0 run after Alabama took a 37-27 lead and outscored the Tide 29-9 in a span of fewer than 13 minutes, starting at 16:05 of the second half.

The Gators went on to win by 10 points in Bridgestone Arena, denying Alabama a victory the Tide badly needed to boost its borderline case for an at-large NCAA tournament berth.

Alabama (21-12), the tournament’s fourth seed, built its 37-27 lead with pace control and strong perimeter defense. The Tide held Florida (26-6) to 1-for-8 shooting behind the 3-point arc in the first half alone.

But the Tide went cold from the field, shooting 36.4 percent in the second half after shooting 55 percent in the first. Top seed Florida started pushing the pace off of Alabama’s misses, and Boynton was the beneficiary, scoring 10 of his game-high 16 points during Florida’s 15-0 run.

Patric Young added 13 points for Florida, and Mike Rosario had 10.

Trevor Releford led Alabama with 12 points. Trevor Lacey and Nick Jacobs scored 11 apiece.

Sports columnist Joe Medley: 256-235-3576, On Twitter @jmedley_star.

© 2013