Alabama fades in 2nd half, loses to No. 3 Florida 78-69 - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama fades in 2nd half, loses to No. 3 Florida 78-69

Posted: Updated:
Alabama coach Anthony Grant, right, has words with referee Mike Thibodeaux, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Florida Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in Gainesville, Fla. Florida 78-69. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin) Alabama coach Anthony Grant, right, has words with referee Mike Thibodeaux, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Florida Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in Gainesville, Fla. Florida 78-69. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — For a half, Alabama did little wrong.

Trevor Releford barely missed, scoring 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting. The Tide handled the press, defended the 3-point line and gave No. 3 Florida all sorts of problems at home.

Coach Anthony Grant's team failed to sustain that success, fading in the second half and losing 78-69 to the Gators on Saturday.

"We handled the adversity," Grant said. "We knew that there would be adversity at some point in the game, and we were challenging ourselves coming into the game to just stay focused. We knew that as explosive and as talented and as tough of a defensive team as Florida is, that we would have to overcome some things."

The Tide overcame a 12-2 deficit early and even led 28-21 after Releford's 3-pointer late in the first half.

But Florida took over in the paint and in transition, which opened things up on the perimeter for Scottie Wilbekin and Michael Frazier II.

Wilbekin was 3-for-5 shooting from behind the arc, making all three in the second half. Frazier was 3 for 8 from the 3-point range.

Frazier finished with 14 points, joining Wilbekin (16), Casey Prather (15), Will Yeguete (12) and Patric Young (11) in double figures. It was the first time all five of Florida's starters topped 10 points since Nov. 21 against Middle Tennessee.

"We have a balanced team, and anyone can beat you on any given night," Prather said.

Releford led the Tide (9-14, 3-7 Southeastern Conference) with 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting. He made 4 of 6 from behind the 3-point line and was perfect on seven free throws.

Alabama shot 61 percent in the opening half and went 5 of 7 from behind the arc, giving the defensive-minded Gators (21-2, 10-0) plenty to talk about at halftime. They responded with an effective press, made 3-pointers and a heavy dose of post play that seemingly wore down the Tide.

"They're at their best when they're in transition," Grant said. "From an offensive standpoint, they took us out of some things that we were able to get there in the first half."

Florida went on a 25-8 run that turned a deficit into a double-digit lead. The Tide ended up losing its four straight and sixth in the last seven games.

"This program can't do anything but go up," Releford said. "It's just a process. Right now we're losing a game, but I feel as a team we're getting better and coach is helping us with that."

Alabama finished the game shooting 55 percent.

For as dominant as Florida has been recently, the team's toughest test comes next week. The Gators play at Tennessee on Tuesday night and then at No. 18 Kentucky on Saturday. Those games could go a long way to determining how Florida finishes in the conference and what kind of seed it gets in next month's NCAA tournament.

"I don't think we played great," Yeguete said. "We got it done, but we didn't play great. We know we've got to do a better job if we want to win in Knoxville on Tuesday."

The Tide lost to Florida for the second time in 16 days. Alabama returns to the court Tuesday night at home against Mississippi, hoping to snap the losing streak and turn things around.

"Like Coach says, 'Keep fighting, keep fighting for what we want,'" Releford said.

Follow Mark Long on Twitter @APMarkLong

Team Stat Comparison

 
ALA
FLA
Points 69 78
FG Made-Attempted 22-40 (.550) 31-50 (.620)
3P Made-Attempted 6-11 (.545) 6-17 (.353)
FT Made-Attempted 19-22 (.864) 10-16 (.625)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 21 (0/0)
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Deputy Arrested For Synthetic Marijuana

    Deputy Arrested For Synthetic Marijuana

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:57 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:57:01 GMT
    A Russell County Sheriff's deputy is accused of participating in a drug trafficking operation.The man was arrested Wednesday after police found 1.5 pounds of synthetic marijuana, or spice, in his Lee County apartment. The deputy has been with the sheriff's department for about two months where he worked in the traffic division. He previously worked as a police officer in Phenix City, Ala.It's unclear if charges have officially been filed in the case. A call to the sheriff's office wasn't imme...More >>
    A Russell County Sheriff's deputy is accused of participating in a drug trafficking operation.The man was arrested Wednesday after police found 1.5 pounds of synthetic marijuana, or spice, in his Lee County apartment. The deputy has been with the sheriff's department for about two months where he worked in the traffic division. He previously worked as a police officer in Phenix City, Ala.It's unclear if charges have officially been filed in the case. A call to the sheriff's office wasn't imme...More >>
  • Officer involved in shooting in Birmingham

    Officer involved in shooting in Birmingham

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:47 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:47:41 GMT
    Investigators are on the scene of a police involved shooting in Birmingham that stemmed from a robbery.More >>
    Investigators are on the scene of a police involved shooting in Birmingham that stemmed from a robbery.More >>
  • TechBits: portable power (04.23.14)

    TechBits: portable power (04.23.14)

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:41 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:41:00 GMT
    There are many options for getting extra power to your portable devices- and they go beyond just batteries..The EnerPlex Surfr series phone cases have solar panels built in. They generate power from the sun, and store it in an internal battery you use to power up your phone. They make the phone a little big and bulky- but they can be invaluable to hikers or campers.Dane-Elec provides power and data with the Mobile Junkie Media Streamer. The unit has a built-in battery beefy enough to complete...More >>
    There are many options for getting extra power to your portable devices- and they go beyond just batteries..The EnerPlex Surfr series phone cases have solar panels built in. They generate power from the sun, and store it in an internal battery you use to power up your phone. They make the phone a little big and bulky- but they can be invaluable to hikers or campers.Dane-Elec provides power and data with the Mobile Junkie Media Streamer. The unit has a built-in battery beefy enough to complete...More >>
  • Birmingham Mayor issues takeover agreement amid lawsuit over precinct construction

    Birmingham Mayor issues takeover agreement amid lawsuit over precinct construction

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:32:26 GMT
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell addressed police officers Wednesday at the city's West Precinct following years of delay to construction of a new site.ABC 33/40 has learned some people say parts of the building is in dire need of upgrades. A few years ago, the city approved a plan for new construction. Since then, it has been delayed. A contractor for the project, Chris Woods, has also filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming city leaders stalled progress.Bell did not speak directly to that l...More >>
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell addressed police officers Wednesday at the city's West Precinct following years of delay to construction of a new site.ABC 33/40 has learned some people say parts of the building is in dire need of upgrades. A few years ago, the city approved a plan for new construction. Since then, it has been delayed. A contractor for the project, Chris Woods, has also filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming city leaders stalled progress.Bell did not speak directly to that l...More >>
  • Burned body found in Fairfield identified as 22-year-old Pinson woman

    Burned body found in Fairfield identified as 22-year-old Pinson woman

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:52:02 GMT
     The body of 22-year-old Megan Elizabeth Monroe, of Pinson, was found outside this home in Fairfield, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (abc3340.com) The body of 22-year-old Megan Elizabeth Monroe, of Pinson, was found outside this home in Fairfield, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (abc3340.com)
    Police have identified the burned body found last weekend behind a vacant home in Fairfield as a 22-year-old Pinson woman.More >>
    Police have identified the burned body found last weekend behind a vacant home in Fairfield as a 22-year-old Pinson woman.More >>
  • U.S. Space and Rocket Center: Make donation, take aerial tour of Huntsville with NASA Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson

    U.S. Space and Rocket Center: Make donation, take aerial tour of Huntsville with NASA Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:52:00 GMT
    The U.S. Space & Rocket Center Foundation in Huntsville, Alabama is asking for your help to raise $70,000 to begin installation of a Gulfstream II Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) in the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Shuttle Park.The U.S. Space & Rocket Center Foundation in Huntsville, Alabama is asking for your help to raise $70,000 to begin installation of a Gulfstream II Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) in the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Shuttle Park.
    For a generous donation, one can take flight with a veteran NASA astronaut in a shuttle training aircraft and get a birds-eye view of Huntsville, including a rare view of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center campus, organizers announced Wednesday.More >>
    For a generous donation, one can take flight with a veteran NASA astronaut in a shuttle training aircraft and get a birds-eye view of Huntsville, including a rare view of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center campus, organizers announced Wednesday.More >>
  • NWS Birmingham to replace tower by May 3

    NWS Birmingham to replace tower by May 3

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:45 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:45:18 GMT
    The National Weather Service Birmingham office is offering weather-related alternatives after a recent transmitter outage. The service's tower, which sits atop Red Mountain, failed over the weekend. NWSMore >>
    UpdateMore >>
  • Amber Alert issued for 2-year-old girl from Mississippi

    Amber Alert issued for 2-year-old girl from Mississippi

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:16 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:16:07 GMT
    THE MISSISSIPPI HIGHWAY PATROL HAS ISSUED AN AMBER ALERT FOR 2-YEAR-OLD MALIAH HARRIS, WHO WAS ABDUCTED THIS MORNING FROM CALEDONIA, MISSISSIPPI.More >>
    The Mississippi Highway Patrol has issued an amber alert for 2-year-old Maliah Harris, who was allegedly abducted Wednesday morning from Caledonia, Mississippi. More >>