TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Cassie Peoples scored all of her game-high 18-points in the second half in helping Florida earn a 53-49 victory against Alabama at Foster Auditorium on Thursday evening in the final regular-season road game for the Gators.
The Florida junior scored eight points, including back-to-back three-point-plays, during a crucial 21-10 run after Alabama took a 32-24 lead with 15:53 remaining in the game.
Peoples' second three-point-play gave Florida a 45-42 lead with 4:12 left.
Alabama's Karyla Middlebrook, who scored a team-best 15 points, came back with a bucket and tied the score. The Tide then missed the front end of a one-and-one but collected the offensive board. The Gators weren't able to corral the miss board but after another Alabama field goal went awry, Ronni Williams skied for the rebound and the Gators capitalized when Peoples sank the first of two impressive drives that resulted in layups within a 36-second span.
Alabama scored twice more and fouled the Gators immediately after both makes. Florida stepped up to the line and Williams converted both of her one-and-one tries with 14.8 seconds on the clock and Peoples capped the game's scoring with two at the line with 3.6 ticks on the clock.
The victory marked Florida's fourth SEC road win of the season and the became the first Gator squad to win as many away from the O'Connell Center since the 2005-06 Florida team won as many.
Alabama closed the first half on a 10-2 run and extended it into the second half where the Tide scored six straight points after Cassie Peoples scored the first points of the period and took a 32-24 lead.
Brooke Copeland ended Florida's three-point shooting drought that extended back to the February 19 game against Vanderbilt and started a 7-2 swing for the Gators, who closed within three points, 34-31, with 12:58 remaining.
The teams traded scorers for the next two minutes and with Alabaman holding a 39-33 lead, Ronni Williams sparked a run of six consecutive points for the Gators, who got two free throws from January Miller and a bucket from Peoples.
After a bucket from Alabama, Peoples produced a pair of consecutive three-point-plays and put Florida in the lead for good.
Florida led by as many as six points twice during the first half and Alabama always answered with a bucket that kept the Gators close.
After Carla Batchelor converted a pair of free throws with 5:44 remaining in the first half, Alabama drilled a three-pointer 13 seconds later and ended the period on a 10-2 run to take a 25-22 halftime lead.
Williams also recorded a double-figure scoring effort, netting 10 points with a game-high-tying seven rebounds.