Alabama takes early SEC lead with 86-71 win over Florida
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Keon Ellis scored 16 points and James Rojas scored 15 - each off the bench - to help carry Alabama past Florida 86-71 on Tuesday night to sit atop the Southeastern Conference.
The pair tallied 31 of the Crimson Tide's (8-3, 3-0) 36-bench points to help Alabama pull away in the second half.
Anthony Duruji sandwiched a jumper and 3-pointer around a jumper from Colin Castleton, and Florida (5-2, 2-1) used the 7-0 run to start the second half to tie it at 39-apiece.
The Tide countered with a 12-2 run over a little more than four minutes and went on to expand their lead from there. Alabama led by double digits the rest of the way.
Herbert Jones and Jaden Shackelford each scored 16 points for Alabama.
Tyree Appleby scored 18 points for Florida, Castleton 13, and Noah Locke and Tre Mann 11 apiece.
Alabama entered the game having lost eight straight and 10 of its last 12 to the Gators at Coleman Coliseum. It was Alabama's first win at home against Florida since Feb. 26, 2006.
Florida: Hosts the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday.
Alabama: Travels to face Auburn on Saturday.
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Updated January 5, 2021