Inside the Box Score - vs. Arkansas

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Tony Mitchell had one of the best games of his career on Saturday evening.
Tony Mitchell had one of the best games of his career on Saturday evening.

Feb. 20, 2011

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Player of the  Game
Tony Mitchell had arguably one of the most memorable games of his 56-game career to date against Arkansas. In addition to pouring in a career-high 27 points, he brought unmatched energy to the game with three highlight reel dunks that whipped the sellout crowd into a frenzy.

Mitchell converted on 11 of his 15 shots and was a perfect 10-of-10 inside the three-point arc. On the glass, he joined JaMychal Green in hauling in a game-high nine boards with six of them coming off the offensive glass. He also tacked on three assists, two blocks and two steals. His contributions outside of the scoring column led to 22 additional points making the sophomore directly responsible for 49 of the team’s 69 points.

His 27-point night was his fifth 20-point game in his last six outings and he boasted a career-high efficiency rating of 35. That rating is the second highest by an SEC player this season and the highest in an SEC game.

Play of the Game
With 6:38 left in the game Chris Hines knocked a ball loose in the post and got it to a racing Tony Mitchell. Mitchell pushed the ball to midcourt before dishing to point guard Trevor Releford. Releford drove the ball into the lane and facing a 2-on-1 break put up a lob for a levitating Mitchell who plucked it out of mid air with one hand and slammed it home to bring the crowd of 15,383 to its feet.

"I saw Tony running, and the defender didn't know what to do, so I just lobbed it up," Releford said of the play. "I knew Tony would go get it."

Mitchell’s play capped a 13-2 UA run that turned a five-point deficit into a six-point lead over 4:20 of action and gave UA the lead for good.

Turning Point of the Game
While Mitchell’s dunk was  the exclamation point on UA’s run, the introduction came with 10 minutes to play as freshman Trevor Releford drained a three-pointer that erased the Razorbacks’ three-point lead and tied the game at 49-49. During the next 4:20 Arkansas went 1-of-4 from the floor with a pair of turnovers to send the Tide on the way to its 10th SEC win of the season.

Stat of the Game
Alabama’s defense continued to fuel its offense as the Tide scored 25 points off Arkansas turnovers. Alabama forced 18 turnovers against an Arkansas team that came into the game averaging an SEC-low 13.3 turnovers per game. The Tide held a 25-5 advantage in points off turnovers, tying for UA’s most in SEC play this season.

Top Lineup
As has become customary, Andrew Steele was part of the Tide’s most productive lineup against Arkansas as he, JaMychal Green, Tony Mitchell, Trevor Releford and Charvez Davis combined to outscore Arkansas by a 17-7 margin during their 7:49 together on the court.

The Tide used 12 different lineups in the game with seven of them outscoring or playing the Razorbacks even. The starting five of Green, Mitchell, Releford, Davis and Chris Hines spent a game-high 10:57 together on the court and outscored Arkansas by a 24-16 margin.

Additional Game Notes
• The game was played in front of a sold-out crowd of 15,383. The sellout was Alabama’s second straight and the third of the season.
• The win clinched Alabama’s third SEC Western Division title and its first since 2005.
• Alabama improved to a perfect 14-0 at home this season and has won 15 straight dating back to last season.
• Alabama is one of 22 unbeaten teams at home this season and just one of nine that are 14-0 or better at home this season.
• Alabama had four dunks on the evening, three from Mitchell, and now leads opponents in dunks by a 102-24 margin.
• Twenty of Alabama’s 26 opponents have now turned the ball over at a rate greater than their season average.
• Arkansas became the 17th opponent this season to score 60 or fewer points against the Tide.
• The Razorbacks shot 39.1 percent and are the 18th opponent to shoot below 40 percent against UA this season.
• Alabama had 11 steals, its fifth SEC game with 10 or more steals.
• Alabama held a 38-20 advantage in points in the paint and has yet to be outscored in the paint this season.
• UA scored 25 points off turnovers and has averaged 27.5 points off turnovers in the last two games.
• Alabama improved to 24-28 all-time against Arkansas and 15-5 in Coleman Coliseum with its fourth straight win over the Razorbacks in Tuscaloosa.

Arkansas +/- Report
Releford  +22
Green  +19
Davis  +18
Mitchell  +16
Hines  +3
Steele  -3
Hillman  -5
Eblen  -9