Florida Gators seniors go out with a win and a title
Florida seniors Chandler Parsons, Vernon Macklin and Alex Tyus combined for 50 points and 26 rebounds to help the Gators defeat Alabama 78-51 at the O'Connell Center Tuesday night.
No. 14 Florida outscored Alabama 48-21 in the second half to earn a 78-51 victory and clinch at least a share of the SEC men’s basketball regular season championship. A victory on Saturday at Vanderbilt gives the Gators (23-6, 12-3 SEC) the title outright.
It is just the fifth team in Florida history to win an SEC men's basketball title.
“We put together a half that was really incredible,’’ Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “I couldn’t be more proud and excited. There haven’t been a lot of SEC Championships in Florida’s basketball history. And for Chandler, Alex and Vernon to have a piece of that, and not only a piece of that, but to play the way they did tonight. All three of them had a huge impact in the game. I’m just so happy for them. I didn’t know three or four years ago if a day like today was possible for some of these guys. And just the way they have grown, the way they have battled, for me as a coach I was really happy sitting there watching them.’’
Alabama (19-10, 11-4) entered the game ranked No. 2 nationally, holding opponents to 37.3 percent from the field. Florida shot 11-of-30 from the field in the first half and was 2-of-12 from 3-point range. The game was tied at 30 at the half.
But leading 39-38 with 15:05 remaining, Florida went on a 17-4 run to take a 56-42 lead with 8:56 remaining. Macklin had 19 points and six rebounds and Tyus added 12 points and nine rebounds. Allen, who has had three knee surgeries and has not played in three seasons, entered the game with 25 seconds remaining and was allowed to dribble the ball down court to end the game.
Check out the pregame ceremony honoring the Florida seniors here: