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Thursday January 23, 2014 For now, Coleman Coliseum toughest place to win in SEC

Updated: 2:32pm, January 23

Coleman TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Little-known fact about Coleman Coliseum, home to the University of Alabama basketball team and next stop for the No. 6 Gators (15-2, 4-0) Thursday night.

The Crimson Tide (8-9, 2-2) has the longest active home winning streak in Southeastern Conference play at 14 straight.

Hear that, Rowdy Reptiles?

UF may have a run of 25 consecutive wins at the O’Connell Center -- the longest in school history and third-longest active streak in the nation -- but the Gators trail Bama in the consecutive conference win category. Florida’s current home streak is just 11 games, dating to the 2011-12 season finale against a Kentucky team that went on to win the NCAA championship.

The Tide’s last home defeat? Well, that came Feb. 14, 2012, when the Gators rolled into town and posted a 61-52 win behind 19 points from Patric Young and 14 points and eight rebounds from Bradley Beal. Included in Bama's 14 straight league wins since that Valentine's Day two years ago are victories over Kentucky, Tennessee (twice) and Arkansas.

To expand, Alabama is 25-2 here since the 2010 season.

To translate: tough place to play.

On the flip side (and not that it matters tonight), Alabama has lost seven straight true road games, five in conference play, including setbacks at Georgia and Missouri this season. The Tide was drummed at Mizzou just five days ago when it made just four of 24 field-goal attempts (that would be 16.6 percent) in the second half. The inability to play well on the road the last two years has been one of the on-going storylines here in the Capstone.

Alabama coach Anthony Grant has no explanation for why his team has been so good at home and so bad on the road, aside from the obvious.

His team just needs to play better in hostile situations.

“My approach in terms of what we try to do is no different when we leave Coleman Coliseum,” Grant said earlier this week. “Anytime you’re in a familiar environment in makes a difference. Here we have fans cheering for us as opposed to against us. But it’s a matter of putting yourself in a position of being successful.”

That scenario will apply tonight for the Gators, who already have won twice on the SEC road this season: at Arkansas (snapping the Razorbacks’ 25-game home winning streak) and at Auburn last weekend.

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