THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2011
Strong second half lifts Alabama past JU, 72-55
Alabama flexed its defensive muscle in the second half, opening the half with the first 10 points and getting big nights from Tony Mitchell and Trevor Releford en route to a 72-55 win at Coleman Coliseum on Thursday night.

Trevor Releford scored a game-high 18 points, hitting two 3-pointers, while Tony Mitchell added 17 points, hitting three 3-pointers to lead Alabama(10-3), as the Tide hit six 3-pointers en route to a better than 50 percent shooting night.

Delwan Graham led the Dolphins (2-10) with a double-double, scoring 13 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Keith McDougald added 10 points for JU.

“We got some good looks to start the second half, we just didn’t get them to fall,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “You have to give credit to Alabama, they hit some open shots in the first half and played solid defensively.”

Jacksonville opened the game hitting 14-of-31 in the first half, but was just 6-of-24 in the second half – including 1-for-7 from 3-point land.

Sporting a 42-37 lead at the half, Alabama opened the half with the first 10 points, capping the spurt on a Levi Randolph layup with 15:14 left in the game.

JU cut the deficit to 13 a few moments later on its first field goal of the half, a Russell Powell driving layup, but could get no closer as the Tide pulled away in the final 10 minutes for the win.

JU won the battle on the boards, but turnovers plagued the Dolphins. Alabama forced 16 turnovers and cashed them in for 20 points.

Keith McDougald’s 3-point play with 8.9 seconds left capped a 5-0 spurt by JU to cut what once was 10-point lead by Alabama to just five at the half, 42-37.

The Dolphins return to action on Tuesday with their Atlantic Sun Conference home opener on Tuesday in Swisher Gymnasium against Lipscomb.

NOTES

Delwan Graham’s double-double was his second of the season and fifth of his career…his first came against Savannah State.