TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After trailing by one at the half, the Alabama men's basketball team downed North Florida, 73-51 at Coleman Coliseum Wednesday night to improve its record to 5-2 while the Ospreys fell to 1-5.
"My thinking is, for us there's a level on consistency that you have to have in order to be good," head coach Anthony Grant said. "I think, as a team right now, we're figuring that out. The thing that we talked about is that we have to develop the identity that we want our team to have and that comes through consistency, playing with passion and playing with pride, and I don't think we displayed that in the first half. I think as a team we certainly have a lot of growth that we have got to make. We're not where we need to be."
Alabama made the most of North Florida's mistakes throughout the game, converting the Ospreys' 20 turnovers into 27 points.
Freshman Tony Mitchell and senior Mikhail Torrance accounted for the bulk of the Tide's scoring with Mitchell finishing with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting and Torrance added 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting including a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe.
Mitchell was well on his way to a career-game before he left the game at the 9:25 mark in the second half after a hard fall. Not only was he having a perfect night behind the three-point arc, shooting 3-of-3, but he also had a career-best and game-high seven rebounds. It's the second time in five games the freshman has led the team in scoring.
Junior Charvez Davis joined Mitchell and Torrance in double figures with 10 points off the bench. Davis' effort helped the Tide as he scored nearly half of the bench's 22 points. As a team,
Alabama shot 41.7 percent (25-of-60) from the field and held North Florida to 38.0 percent shooting (19-of-50). With Mitchell and Davis knocking down three treys each, the Tide shot 45.0 percent (9-of-20) as a team from beyond the arc.
Averaging 48.4 percent from three on the season, the Ospreys were only able to convert on 28.6 percent (4-of-14) against the Tide. After just one lead change in the first half, the second half began with four straight lead changes. At the 17:40 mark, Alabama took over the lead and did not relinquish it again as they went on a 15-6 run over the next six minutes. North Florida would never come within single digits of the lead for the remainder of the game.
The Crimson Tide led by as much as 23 points with 5:04 remaining en route to outscoring the Ospreys 43-20 in the second half. The first half saw the Crimson Tide jump out to an 11-point advantage in the first 10 minutes, 19-8. From that point, the Ospreys would go on a 23-14 run, leading by as much as four, to close out the half. Mitchell sank a three-point shot off the glass at the buzzer to bring Alabama within one point before heading to the locker rooms for halftime down 31-30. North Florida's Stan Januska kept things close in the first half as he poured in 11 of his 13 points. Alabama held Januska, a 57.1 percent three-point threat, to just 2-of-6 from three-point land.