Florida Gators: 2012 SEC tournament
March, 10, 2012
NEW ORLEANS -- Kentucky once again got all it asked for in the SEC tournament, and the Wildcats once again responded. Quick thoughts from UK's 74-71 win against Florida.
Overview: Billy Donovan referred to 3-pointers as "the great equalizer" Friday, and did that ever prove to be the case. The Gators led for all but 10 seconds of the first half, and built a lead as big as 10 points. The reason? An absurdly hot start from the arc (5-of-8 from deep in the first 12 minutes). The Gators were shooting as well as 62 percent from the field at one point in the first half, but they inevitably trailed off.
When they did, the Wildcats made their move. Kentucky outscored Florida 10-2 in the last five minutes of the first half, and an Anthony Davis 3 put the Wildcats up 40-39 at the buzzer.
The Gators rediscovered their spark after the break by connecting on their first four shots to re-establish the lead. The game settled into a grinding, physical affair for the next 10 or so minutes before gearing up for a fantastic final five minutes.
It looked like the Wildcats were primed to shrug the upset bid off when Terrence Jones blew up for seven points during an 11-0 Kentucky run. The Wildcats took a lead as big as nine points and appeared to have things under control, but the Gators' 3-point shooting once again pulled them close. Successful treys from Erik Murphy and Bradley Beal made it a 68-66 game entering the final minute.
Turning point: Holding the ball and the lead, Kentucky drew a foul under the basket with 37 seconds remaining. Jones, who finished with 15 points, sank both free throws to make it 70-66.
March, 10, 2012
NEW ORLEANS -- The moment Trevor Lacey's buzzer-beater bricked off the rim and Florida's win against Alabama became final, the thought set in.
The No. 19 Gators put the skids on a three-game losing streak and advanced to the SEC tournament semifinals with a 66-63 win Friday. The only problem is, the menace that awaits them is top-ranked Kentucky, their two-time tormentors from earlier this season. In less than 24 hours, Florida faces the prospect of three losses in three tries to the Wildcats.
"We definitely don't want to be swept," Florida guard Kenny Boynton said. "We've got to come out tomorrow and play hard -- stay focused throughout the whole game."
March, 9, 2012
NEW ORLEANS -- A look at Florida's rugged win against Alabama:
Overview: JaMychal Green made quite a difference in Alabama's SEC quarterfinal rematch with Florida, but it wasn't quite enough.
Green, who missed the teams' first meeting because of a suspension, dominated to the tune of 22 points and 10 rebounds against the Gators. Unfortunately for Green, a missed free throw in the dying seconds will probably offset a fantastic performance, in his mind.
The Crimson Tide buried a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer, cutting a five-point UF lead to 26-24. The Gators tried to pull away in the second half, building a lead that got as big as 12. But the Tide surged back behind the efforts of Green, who took 14 of the Tide's 45 shots and connected on seven.
Turning point: Green went to the free throw line with a chance to tie the game with 21 seconds left. He was superb for Alabama all day, but he connected on only the first of his two shots, leaving the Tide at a 64-63 disadvantage.