Nembhard scores 21, Florida handles Alabama 71-53

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Freshman star Andrew Nembhard scored a career-high 21 points without missing a shot and Florida throttled Alabama's offense in a 71-53 win on Saturday.

The Gators (14-11, 6-6 Southeastern Conference) held the Crimson Tide (15-10, 6-6) without a field goal for nearly eight minutes to start the game and fought off a second-half rally attempt.

Nembhard, whose previous scoring high was 13 points, made all nine field goal attempts, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Keyontae Johnson had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Gators, who shot 54 percent from the floor. KeVaughn Allen scored 13.

Kira Lewis Jr., like Nembhard a freshman five-star recruit, led Alabama with 14 points. Donta Hall and John Petty each scored 10 points.

The Tide rebounded from that opening field goal drought to shoot 44 percent. But Alabama made just 10 of 22 free throw attempts and managed only one point better than its season-low.

The Gators took a 51-34 lead on Jalen Hudson's 3-pointer with 13:17 left. Alabama managed to cut it to single digits a few minutes later with an 8-0 spurt.

The Tide rally fizzled with missed shots on a pair of chances to pull to within five or six and Nembhard followed with a basket and free throw to effectively end the threat.

BIG PICTURE

Florida: The Gators have won eight in a row at Coleman Coliseum. Florida's last loss there came in 2006 and that team didn't lose again on its way to SEC tournament and national titles.

Alabama: With a home loss that won't look good on the NCAA Tournament resume, the Tide didn't make a basket until Galin Smith's layup with 12:15 left before halftime, missing its first seven shots.

UP NEXT

Florida plays its second straight road game, visiting LSU Wednesday night.

Alabama visits Texas A&M Tuesday night. The Aggies beat the Tide 81-80 on Jan. 12.