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Florida Gators edge Alabama Crimson Tide 66-65

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Erving Walker scored 14 in the second half, including a jumper with 11 seconds left, to lift Florida to a 66-65 victory over Alabama on Thursday.

"Erving Walker drove that lane and hits a tough shot," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "But if that ball rolls off the rim, we could be sitting here talking about a tough loss. I think it's important to keep that perspective and getting better at those other things that you can control."

Florida rebounded from Sunday's last-second 61-60 loss at Tennessee and has won five of six. Alabama was fresh off a 58-57 loss to Auburn and also lost to Vanderbilt 65-64 on Jan. 13.

With the Gators (16-6, 5-3 SEC) ahead 64-60 with 1:59 left, Anthony Brock stole the ball from Walker and scored on a three-point play. Mikhail Torrance's jumper gave the Crimson Tide (13-9, 3-5) a 65-64 lead with 42 seconds left.

Walker missed a jumper, but teammate Kenny Boynton grabbed the rebound. After a Florida timeout, the 5-foot-8 Walker made his next shot to finish with 16 points.

Torrance missed a layup with three seconds left and Alabama rebounded the ball.

After a Crimson Tide timeout, UF's Dan Werner slapped the inbounds pass downcourt as time expired.

"I have to take the blame for that," said Alabama coach Anthony Grant, a former assistant under Donovan. "We had two opportunities to get the ball inbounds. Florida did a good job of putting pressure on the inbounds pass. … We weren't able to come out and do what we needed to do to get the win."

Alex Tyus had 19 points to lead UF, scoring in double figures for the 13th straight game.

The Gators have made at least one 3-pointer in 600 straight games and were 4-for-11 from there in the second half.

"Coach Donovan has been telling us to shoot and have trust that we will knock it down," Walker said.

Florida 66

Alabama 65

Florida Gators edge Alabama Crimson Tide 66-65 02/04/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 5, 2010 12:16am]
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