TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- With some sharp shooting and extra effort on the boards, No. 7 Florida found a way to overcome Alabama's zone defense on Thursday night.
Behind sophomore guard Michael Frazier's team-high 18 points, the Gators extended their win streak to 10 games with a 68-62 victory at Coleman Coliseum.
Alabama coach Anthony Grant thought playing zone gave the Tide their the best chance at a win, especially considering they came into the game short-handed without starting shooting guard Retin Obasohan, who sat out with a hip flexor injury.
"Give them credit, Frazier stepped up," Grant said. "He got free sometimes that we shouldn't have let him free. His teammates did a good job finding him in the creases of our zone to knock down shots."
Senior forward Casey Prather added 14 points for the Gators (16-2, 5-0 SEC). Prather has scored in double figures in all 15 games he has appeared in this season.
Frazier, the SEC's leading 3-point shooter at 46.3 percent, missed his first three 3-point attempts, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Frazier put Florida up 53-43 in the second half and the Gators extended their second-half lead to 12 points when freshman point guard Kasey Hill's breakaway layup gave Florida a 55-43 lead with 8:57 remaining.
"Those 3s hurt our momentum," Alabama senior point guard Trevor Releford said. "Give credit to Florida. We just gave Frazier his confidence, and when you give a shooter like him confidence, he just kept letting it go."
Frazier finished 5 of 13 from 3-point range. Overall, the Gators were 10 of 28 from beyond the arc (35.7 percent). Florida also finished with 18 offensive rebounds and outscored Alabama 18-13 in second-chance points.
"If you look at the numbers on the glass, that was the difference in the game," Grant said.
Frazier said he was prodded from his teammates to keep shooting despite the early misses.
"Sometimes I need them to tell me to keep shooting because I'll start doubting myself," Frazier said. "They did a good job of staying positive for me."
Alabama cut Florida's lead to 62-57 on two free throws from guard Levi Randolph with 1:07 remaining. But Florida made six of its last eight free throws to close out the game.
With the win, Florida coach Billy Donovan improved to 7-0 against Alabama assistant Anthony Grant, who served as an assistant under Donovan at Marshall and Florida from 1994 to 2006.
"These games are always difficult," Donovan said. "But the fact about him and I feel the same way is there's nothing competitive that's ever going to get in the way of our relationship."
Releford led Alabama (8-10, 2-3 SEC) with 14 points. Forward Nick Jacobs added 12 points and Randolph scored 11 for the Crimson Tide.
Florida led the entire half against Alabama but never quite pulled away. The Gators struggled against Alabama's mix of zone defenses, settling for 3-point shots. Florida made just four of its first 14 attempts from beyond the arc.
The Gators took a 20-12 on a 3-pointer from sophomore DeVon Walker, but Alabama responded with an 8-2 run, cutting Florida's lead to 22-20 on a free throw by freshman forward Shannon Hale.
A 3-pointer from Releford cut Florida's lead to 27-24 with 1:20 remaining. But Florida closed the half strong. With Florida ahead 29-26, Frazier made a 3-pointer from the corner with 4.3 seconds left in the first half as he was fouled by Hale. Frazier completed the four-point play, putting the Gators up 33-26 at halftime.
Alabama shot just 37 percent from the field in the first half but stayed in the game by holding Florida to 36.4 percent from the floor. Releford had nine assists and two assists for the Crimson Tide in the first half.
NOTES: Florida freshman F Chris Walker did not make the trip for Thursday's game against Alabama. Walker has sat out nine games since joining the Gators on Dec. 16 and is still not cleared for competition by the NCAA. ... Florida senior F Casey Prather was one of 23 players named to the Oscar Robertson Trophy midseason watch list, given to the nation's best college player. Prather entered Thursday night's game against Alabama fourth in the NCAA in field-goal percentage (.636) while scoring a team-high 17.3 ppg for the Gators. ... After the game, Alabama coach Anthony Grant said guard Retin Obasohan will be a game-time decision for the Tide's next game Saturday at home against LSU. Grant said Obasohan was injured on Tuesday in practice. ... With the win, Donovan also improved to 13-2 against his former assistant coaches ... It was the 100th career win for Florida seniors Prather, Will Yeguete, Scottie Wilbekin and Patric Young ... Florida snapped Alabama's 14-game home winning streak against SEC opponents.