GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Scottie Lewis, Florida’s best defender and second-leading scorer, was whistled for two fouls within 20 seconds during the first half of Tuesday night’s game at Alabama. The second was an offensive foul at the 12:56 mark, with the Gators leading by one. Lewis went to the bench for the rest of the half. UF trailed by seven at the break.
The Gators, with Lewis back on the floor, scored the first seven points after intermission to quickly tie the game, then trailed by just two when Lewis was hit with his third foul at the 17:28 mark. Mike White motioned to his bench to sub out his 6-foot-5, quick-twitch sophomore, but Lewis quickly got his coach’s attention.
“I’m fine! I’m good! Keep me in!
White was skeptical, but opted to go the trust route, He kept Lewis in the game.
Foul No. 4, of course, came just 77 seconds later when Lewis hacked John Petty Jr. on a driving, converted layup. Petty converted the three-play that started a Crimson Tide’s run of 15 of the game’s next 17 points on the way to an 86-71 victory and on a night when sole possession of first place in the Southeastern Conference was