Men's Basketball Defeats Jacksonville, 72-55
Alabama 72, Jacksonville 55 [Box Score]
Dec. 29, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama men's basketball team improved to 10-3 on the season with a 72-55 win over the Jacksonville Dolphins Thursday night at Coleman Coliseum.
Sophomore guard Trevor Releford came away with 18 points to lead all scorers, to go with four assists and four steals. Junior forward Tony Mitchell scored 17 points while freshman guard Trevor Lacey added 11 points for the Crimson Tide. Freshman guard Levi Randolph notched a team-high eight rebounds in addition to six points and three assists. The Tide played without senior forward JaMychal Green for the second consecutive game due to a shoulder injury.
"I was really pleased with how we came out in the second half defensively and really set the tone," Alabama head coach Anthony Grant said. "When you look at the numbers, they shot 25 percent in the second half, went one-for-seven from the three-point line and we only turned the ball over twice in the second half, giving ourselves an opportunity every time on the offensive end. Being disruptive on the defensive end like we were allowed us to build the lead."
The Tide limited Jacksonville to just 18 second half points on 6-of-24 (25 percent) shooting, including just 1-of-7 (14.3 percent) from beyond the three-point arc. Alabama held the Dolphins scoreless for nearly nine minutes to open the second half, building a 15-point lead in the process, after allowing its second-highest first half point total (37) of the year.
The Tide shot a crisp 52.1 percent (25-of-48) from the field for the game to complement its stout defensive effort, outscoring Jacksonville by a 2:1 ratio on points off turnovers (20 to 10), while connecting on 40 percent of its three-point attempts.
"Our coaches told us at halftime to play with more energy and not let them outplay us," Releford said. "I think that we took it to heart. We came out different in the second half."
Ten ties and eleven lead changes told the story of the first half. Neither team led by more than four points until back-to-back-to-back three-pointers by Mitchell and Releford keyed a quick 9-0 Alabama spurt at the 5:05 mark of the first half that gave the Tide a 34-28 lead. From there, Alabama would ultimately settle on a 42-37 advantage at intermission.
Coming out of the break, Alabama held the Dolphins scoreless over the first 8:36 of the second half as part of a 10-0 run that pushed UA to a 15-point advantage.
From there, Alabama would maintain a lead of no less than 14 points over the game's final ten minutes, building the advantage to as many as 21 points en route to a 17-point victory.
Up next, Alabama plays Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga. Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 at 8 p.m.