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Strong second half pushes Alabama past Stephen F. Austin


Guard Jaden Shackelford scored a game-high 17 points, four on free throws in the last 19 seconds, as Alabama took command in the second half for a 78-68 victory over Stephen F. Austin Friday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Guards Kira Lewis Jr. scored 15 points, Alex Reese shook off a foot injury to match it, and guard John Petty Jr. added 14 as the Crimson Tide (4-4) overcame 20 turnovers -- including a pair in the last 37 seconds -- to get back to .500 for the season.

The Tide forced the Lumberbacks into 19 turnovers, right at their average of 19 for the season.

Guard Cameron Johnson scored 18 points for the Lumberjacks (7-2), who got only 10 points from their leading scorer, guard/forward Kevin Harris, about half his season average of 19.4 coming in.

The Tide opened the second half by outscoring the Lumberjacks 15-4 in the first 4:46 of the period with Petty igniting the run with a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers.

The Lumberjacks got that down to 47-42 on a 7-0 run that included three Tide turnovers, but the Tide got back on track and ran out to the first of their two 15-point leads, 65-51, with 5:08 remaining.

Neither team exactly lit it up in the first half. Alabama made a couple of late baskets to finish the period shooting 39.1 percent (9 of 23) but made 11 turnovers.

Stephen F. Austin shot 33.3 percent (10 of 30) and made 11 turnovers but won the rebounding 21-15 with 10 at their offensive end in the first half. That, too, turned a bit in the second half when Alabama outrebounded the Lumberjacks 18-17.

The Tide trailed by six points early and didn't get a lead until forward/guard Herbert Jones' free throw put them up 20-19 with 6:46 left in the period. They led 32-31 lead at the break on Lewis jumper with 46 seconds left.

The Tide was without guard Beetle Bolden, a two-game starter out with wrist and hand injuries.

--Field Level Media

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