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Gators come up short on glass

Diving, leaping and scrambling, Alabama kept coming up with rebounds and loose balls on Sunday.

Jermareo Davidson and Richard Hendrix dominated inside and came up with three key offensive rebounds in the final minute to counter No. 12 Florida's 3-point barrage and lead the Crimson Tide to an 82-77 victory.

Hendrix saved one ball off a missed free throw, then drew a foul battling for another offensive rebound. When he missed both attempts from the line, Davidson dove for the rebound and called a quick timeout with 37 seconds left.

The Tide (16-10, 9-5 SEC) went 6-for-6 from the line after that. The Gators (22-6, 8-6) left with their third consecutive defeat - by a combined 13 points - despite a late onslaught that included Taurean Green's six points over the final 13 seconds.

"They've done that all year," said Richard Steele, who had 19 points and seven assists for Alabama. "We knew they were capable and were coming off a loss. I think our guys did good job of finishing."

Alabama boosted its NCAA Tournament resume with its third conference win this month over a ranked team, including a 92-79 home victory Feb. 18 over No. 10 Tennessee.

Davidson had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Alabama, and Hendrix had 11 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.

Brandon Hollinger's two free throws with 11 seconds left ended any comeback threat.

The Gators trailed almost the entire game after making 9-of-35 shots in the first half. They fell into a tie with Kentucky for second in the SEC East, which comes with a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

"I just felt like our guys were playing with blinders on," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "We weren't taking what the defense was giving us. I don't think our 3-point shots were that bad in the first half."

Green scored 20 and hit three second-half 3-pointers, and all 15 of Lee Humphrey's points came on 3s in the final 9:44. Green hit three free throws and a 3-pointer in the final 13 seconds to spark the final gasp.

Florida cut it to 75-71 on Humphrey's 3 from the right corner with 1:17 left. Steele, Davidson and Hollinger hit free throws to push the lead to 80-71.

Green sandwiched his two three-point plays between Hollinger's free throws.

"We've got to start coming up with rebounds when we need them, and we've got to reach down deep," Green said.

Joakim Noah and Al Horford had 12 points apiece and Corey Brewer finished with 11 for the Gators.

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