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Frazier, Florida beat Alabama, win 10th straight

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No. 6 Florida was limping into halftime of a close game when Michael Frazier made a 3-pointer, was fouled and hit the free throw.

Frazier's back-to-back 3s later gave the Gators a double-digit cushion midway through the second half of Thursday night's 68-62 win over Alabama. He finished with 18 points and five 3-pointers.

"We struggled to get it going in the first half, but they just told me to keep shooting," said the sophomore guard from Tampa, "so I did."

The Gators (16-2, 5-0 SEC) won their 10th straight and host Tennessee on Saturday (4, ESPN). UF is the league's lone unbeaten.

The Crimson Tide (8-10, 2-3) had its league-best 14-game SEC home winning streak snapped.

UF, which didn't make a field goal over the last four minutes, made 8 of 10 free throws in the final 47 seconds.

Casey Prather scored 14 and Scottie Wilbekin had 10 points and four assists for Florida.

Frazier's four-point play with five seconds left in the opening half gave the Gators a 33-26 lead. He hit a 3 from the right corner, his third of the half, and was fouled. Frazier made the free throw.

Florida struggled shooting at times but made 10 3-pointers to take advantage of what Alabama's zone defense left available.

"They did a really good job collapsing on (center Patric) Young and our guys in the frontcourt," Gators coach Billy Donovan said. "What was open was from the perimeter, and we made some shots and moved the ball pretty well."

Trevor Releford led Alabama with 14 points. The Tide was without No. 2 scorer Retin Obasohan, who strained his left hip flexor in Tuesday's practice.

UF earned win No. 100 for the four-man senior class, all starters.

"It's a great accomplishment," Prather said. "It humbles us knowing that we have so far to go, but we have also come so far since our freshman year."

The Gators have won eight straight against the Tide and 10 of the past 11.

"Those 3s hurt," Releford said. "They were momentum plays for Florida and gave Frazier his confidence. When you give a shooter like him confidence, he's just letting it go."

Alabama has lost three of four despite holding six straight opponents below 70 points.

UF's Will Yeguete and Dorian Finney-Smith each had 11 rebounds (seven offensive for Finney-Smith).

"Probably the story of the game was their ability to get second shots and offensive rebounds," said Alabama coach Anthony Grant, a former assistant under Donovan who is now 0-7 against his ex-boss. "Eighteen offensive rebounds, that at the end of the day was probably the difference."

Frazier, Florida beat Alabama, win 10th straight 01/23/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 24, 2014 12:08am]
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