Turnovers Key In Alabama Victory

ATLANTA -- Peach turnover, anyone? In the Peach State Tuesday night, the Alabama basketball team forced Georgia Tech into 22 turnovers and raced to a 73-48 win over the Yellow Jackets in Philips Arena.



Alabama, which begins Southeastern Conference play Saturday, finished non-conference play with the Crimson Tide's only true road win of the season. Alabama improved to 11-3, while Georgia Tech lost its third straight game and fell to 7-7.

Alabama returns to the Peach State Saturday at 6 p.m. CT to open SEC play against the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens. The game will be televised by FSN and tip off at 7 p.m. EST (6 p.m. central time).

"I thought we came out and played with great energy," Bama Coach Anthony Grant said. "We came out defensively and set the tone. We struggled a little to start the second half, but finished up well. This was a good win for our team."  

Alabama forced 22 turnovers on the way to a 25-point win over the Yellow Jackets. After leading by 18 at the half, the Crimson Tide extended its lead to as many as 27 in the second half, keeping the defensive pressure on Georgia Tech through to the end. A total of eight Alabama players tallied at least one steal, earning 14 on the night with freshman guard Trevor Lacey leading the way with three.

  Sophomore guard Trevor Releford scored a game-high 17 points while junior forward Tony Mitchell added 14 points to go with a game-high six rebounds.

Junior Andrew Steele, in his first game this season after rejoining the team earlier this week, scored nine points in 12 minutes of play. It had been believed that Steele's career was over when he suffered post-concussion symptoms last season, but he was cleared to play and joined the team after having been serving as a student coach.

Alabama won three games at neutral site San Juan Puerto Rico and one at neutral site Birmingham and lost one road game (Dayton) and one neutral site game (Kanas City), so is now 5-2 in games away from Coleman Coliseum.

The game also marked the return to action of low post senior star JaMychal Green. Green had missed the last two games with a shoulder injury.

The game was the third consecutive one for the Tide in which Releford has been Bama's leading scorer. He scored 19 points in a win over Oklahoma State, 18 in a win over Jacksonville, and 17 against Tech.

Georgia Tech became the fourth opponent this season to fail to reach the 50-point mark against Alabama's defense, which ranks among the nation's best.

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