January 5, 2020 / 2:17 AM / 14 days ago

Florida finishes big rally with 2OT win over Alabama

Scottie Lewis, Andrew Nembhard and Kerry Blackshear Jr. each sank two free throws in the final 42 seconds of the second overtime, and Florida overcame a 21-point deficit for a 104-98 victory over Alabama on Saturday in Gainesville, Fla., in the SEC opener for both teams.

Jan 4, 2020; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators guard Andrew Nembhard (2) drives to the basket as Alabama Crimson Tide forward Herbert Jones (1) defends during second overtime at Exactech Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Nembhard scored a career-high 25 points, and Blackshear added 24 points and 16 rebounds for the Gators (9-4, 1-0 SEC), who set a school record by overcoming a 14-point halftime deficit to win.

John Petty Jr. scored 19 points, and Kira Lewis Jr. had 17 points to lead six double-figure scorers for the Crimson Tide (7-6, 0-1 SEC), who hit 13 of 34 attempts from 3-point range but just 23 of 34 (68 percent) from the free-throw line.

Petty’s 3-pointer with 16 seconds left in overtime tied it at 92 and forced the second OT.

Trailing 78-69 with 3:45 left in regulation, the Gators fought back to get within 83-81 on Blackshear’s 3-pointer with 25.2 seconds left. Following a timeout, Florida’s Noah Locke (18 points) stole Petty’s inbound pass and sank the tying layup with 21 seconds showing to force OT.

Scottie Lewis (17 points) sank two free throws and a 3-pointer, and Ques Glover (six points) added a jumper for a 7-0 run that pulled UF within 65-59 and 8:52 left.

Locke and Blackshear each hit a 3-pointer to start the second half — after the Gators had scored the final seven points of the first half — to pull Florida within 46-38 with 19:01 left.

Alex Reese scored 10 of his 14 points points to help Alabama build a 46-32 halftime lead. The Crimson Tide’s reserves outscored Florida’s subs 19-5 before intermission.

The Gators sank seven of 14 from 3-point range in the first half, when the Gators missed five of six attempts from behind the arc. Nembhard hit a trey with one second left.

Trailing 11-9, the Crimson Tide scored 14 straight points to go ahead 23-11 with 11:03 until intermission. James Bolden (15 points) had a layup and 3-pointer in the run.

Leading by seven points, Alabama used a 13-1 run to take a 41-22 advantage 3:21 before halftime. Six different Crimson Tide players scored during the spurt.

—Field Level Media

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