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Florida Basketball

Instant Analysis: Gators overcome slow start to win double OT thriller

January 4, 2020
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It took an extra 10-minutes, but the Florida Gators (9-4, 1-0) were able to notch their first conference win of the year over the Alabama Crimson Tide (7-6, 0-1) 104 in double overtime.

It was looking like a disastrous start to conference play for Florida as the Gators were once down by 21-points. However, a strong second half got them back in the game and they were able to pull it out in the end.

What Went Right: After a nightmare first half, the Gators were able to put it all together in the second half to erase a 14-point halftime deficit.

Shooting 53% in the half, Florida’s effort was enough to force overtime. It took an additional five-minutes, but the Gators were able to get a huge win to open SEC play.

The Gators finished the game shooting 43% from the field and even though it took them some extra time, they scored 100 points in their second straight game.

Who Stole The Show: The Gators second half comeback was a team effort, but included some standout individual performances. In his SEC debut, Kerry Blackshear Jr. registered another double-double on the year, scoring 24 and grabbing 16 rebounds.

It was a big scoring game for Andrew Nembhard who led the team with 25 points on 8-for-19 shooting and added five assists.

After clearing concussion protocol, Scottie Lewis looked much like his normal self on his way to a double-double, scoring 17 and pulling down 10 rebounds.

Bottom Line: Slow starts have become a pattern for team’s Mike White has coach and he needs to find a way to fix that ASAP. Especially with this team, one that entered the year in what figured to be his most talented in his Florida tenure. They were able to overcome the slow start with a great second half and inspired overtime play, but something has to give.

This Gators squad is far too talented to have to rely on bailing themselves out from down double-digits at the half. More times than not, that’s not going to work in the SEC. They did enough to get the win tonight, but this Florida team needs to start making a habit of playing a consistent game before conference play hits full stride.

Up Next: The Gators will embark on their road trip of the conference season, first traveling to Columbia, South Carolina to face the Gamecocks (8-5) on Tuesday Jan. 7. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. with coverage on ESPNU.

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