In a pair of meetings over the last three weekends, the Alabama Crimson Tide have led the No. 11/13 Florida Gators midway through the second half only to see Florida go on a late run and pull off a double-digit victory.
The one-seed Gators (26-6) completed their mission once again on Saturday in the semifinals of the 2013 SEC Tournament, using a 22-5 second-half run to complete a come-from-behind 61-51 victory over the four-seed Crimson Tide (21-12).
Florida senior guard Kenny Boynton, marred in a massive slump in the tournament, broke out in a big way for the Gators. He scored 11-straight points as part of a 15-0 run that took his team from a 10-point deficit with 16 minutes remaining to a five-point lead with 11:19 left in the contest.
“I was really, really happy for Kenny, personally, just to see him bounce back and to continue to have confidence and belief in himself and to play with that fire that I see him play with so often,” head coach Billy Donovan said.
UF matched Boynton’s intensity from there and parlayed his play into a victory that advances Florida to the finals of the SEC Tournament on Sunday at 1 p.m. against either three-seed Ole Miss or 10-seed Vanderbilt. The Gators are looking to win the fourth SEC Tournament Championship in program history.
“When you see our team get excited – our team loves Kenny Boynton – and when people watch him and the ball doesn’t go in the basket, it’s very easy to point fingers and be critical. But I would say that maybe of anybody on our team, Kenny Boynton is truly loved inside of our team because he’s a great teammate,” Donovan said.
“He does want to win. He wants to make every shot he takes. He doesn’t intentionally try to miss, but he’s gone through a little bit of a tough shooting period. And I think as a coach, when you can see somebody’s intentions every day, his intentions are always good. He’s about the team. He wants to play well. He wants to compete. He’s not selfish, doesn’t take a ton of bad shots.
“And for me, I was personally very, very happy for him, and when he’s getting — when he’s making some shots, it livens up our team because our team looks to him in a lot of ways. When he’s got that kind of swagger and that bounce to his step, it can’t all be on him. They all got to step up and assume their own responsibilities, but I always think that that’s a sign of how much a guy is excited when the guy starts to make a couple shots, everybody gets excited for him.”
Read the rest of the Florida-Alabama game story…after the break!
Continue Reading » Boynton fuels Florida to second-half comeback over Alabama in 2013 SEC Tournament semifinals