Gators hand Tide rare SEC home loss
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Jan 24, 2014 | 1659 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Florida guard Michael Frazier II (20) is pressured by Alabama's Algie Key (0) on Thursday. (AP Photo/Michelle Lepianka Carter)
Florida guard Michael Frazier II (20) is pressured by Alabama's Algie Key (0) on Thursday. (AP Photo/Michelle Lepianka Carter)
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TUSCALOOSA — Alabama men’s basketball saw its 14-game home winning streak versus league competition end in a 68-62 defeat at the hands of No. 6 Florida.

The Crimson Tide never led in its first SEC home loss since 2012 (Florida). It was the first time all season the Tide has failed to lead at any part of the contest.

“You have to give (Florida) credit,” Tide coach Anthony Grant said. “They are a great basketball team. They are the sixth-ranked team in the country for a reason. If you look at the numbers on the glass, that was the difference in the game. We played an extended possession zone tonight, but they were able to step up and make some shots.”

Alabama was outrebounded 42-39 and falls to 1-8 when losing the rebounding battle.

Every time Alabama got close, Florida would nail another three. The Gators were 10-of-28 from range on the night led by guard Michael Frazier who made five three-pointers. The 10 three-pointers are the second-most Alabama has given up this season (Stillman, 13).

“Those threes hurt our momentum,” senior point guard Trevor Releford said. “Give credit to Florida. We just gave Frazier confidence, and when you give a shooter like him confidence, he just kept letting it go.”

Releford led the Tide with 14 points. Nick Jacobs added 12, Levi Randolph put in 11 and Shannon Hale scored 10.

Alabama cut it to four late in the first half, but with a few seconds on the clock, the Tide inexplicably gave up a four-point play after fouling a three-point shooter. The Gators took a 33-26 lead into the break.

The Tide was without guard Retin Obasohan who was sidelined with a hip injury. With Obasohan out, Florida aggressively trapped Releford on pick and rolls.

“With Retin being gone, they helped off, but I think that’s how every team is guarding me since SEC play started. If Retin would have been out there he could have definitely helped. We missed him tonight. Hopefully we’ll have him back for the next game and we’ll go from there.

Grant said Obasohan will be evaluated today and is likely a game time decision for Saturday.

The Tide (8-10, 2-3 SEC) will host LSU on Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
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