Walker floats Gators to 66-65 win over Tide

By Adam Silverstein
February 4, 2010

It took senior forward Dan Werner strongly batting away an in bounds toss with 3.5 seconds remaining on the clock to propel the Florida Gators (16-6, 5-3 SEC) to a 66-65 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide (13-9, 3-5 SEC) on the road at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Though Werner made a heads-up play in the final seconds, he preceded it with a major mistake that could have cost his team the game. The Gators were only up four with 1:09 remaining in the game when he inexplicably fouled Crimson Tide guard Anthony Brock to allow Alabama to continue its 9-2 run and cut Florida’s lead to one. A runner by G Mikhail Torrance gave the Tide a 65-64 lead with only 44 seconds left, but a clutch floater by Gators sophomore point guard Erving Walker with nine tickets left on the clock ended up being the game-winning basket.

Read the rest of OGGOA’s Florida at Alabama game story after the jump!

Florida began the game with its frontcourt players scoring the team’s first 14 points, while Alabama rained shots from downtown and used a 14-4 run to take an early 34-26 lead. The end of the half featured an interesting turn of events as the Tuscaloosa crowd psyched out Gators freshman G Kenny Boynton by counting down the shot clock early. Boynton missed an off-balance shot which allowed the Crimson Tide to push the ball up the court to F Tony Mitchell who nailed a buzzer-beating trey.

The home team went into the locker room with a four-point lead as Florida head coach Billy Donovan tried to figure out a way not to be taken down by his protegee and Alabama head coach Anthony Grant.

Trailing most of the game and not having sniffed a lead for 17 minutes and 41 seconds, the Gators got back in the game with an 8-0 run triggered by back-to-back three-pointers from Walker and Boynton. The surge gave Florida a lead with 11:53 left in the game, but control would change hands multiple times before the final buzzer.

Tyus (19), who was 8-of-10 from the field and 6-for-8 in the first half, led the Gators while Walker (16) and Boynton (15) also scored in double figures. Torrance led the Crimson Tide with 22 points (14 in the first half) and was 5-of-11 from downtown. F JaMychal Green (14) and Mitchell (10) also registered double-digit point totals for Alabama.

The Gators look to start a new winning streak on Sat., Feb. 6 at 1:30 p.m. when they host the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The game will air live on SEC Network stations.

2 Comments

  1. SC Gator says:

    Sunday at 1 in Knoxville, Thursday at 7 in Tuscaloosa, then back home to G’ville for a 1:30 game? Guess we get to see just how well their conditioning holds up.

  2. It is really funny you say that because I was thinking exactly the same thing. 8 games in 24 days…once every 3 days.

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