Junior guard Levi Randolph paced the Crimson Tide with a career-high 20 points while true freshman Jimmie Taylor nearly had double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Tide opened the game with an 11-0 run and never let up. “Proud of the effort our guys gave today,” Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. “I thought we really set the tone from a defensive standpoint with the energy we played with to begin the game. We were able to stretch the lead out a little bit, and in the second half, I thought our guys came out with great energy and great focus.”
The Tide found its shooting range early and remained hot. The Tide shot 47.4 percent (9-19) from 3-point range while holding North Florida to 25 percent (5-20) from behind the arc. Randolph nailed three of the 3-pointers.
“We’ve just been talking in practice and coach has been preaching that when we have open shots, don’t turn them down,” Randolph said.
Alabama was able to pound North Florida inside as well with 32 points in the paint and a 45-37 rebounding advantage.
“Rebounding-wise, I thought we did a really good job in the second half of coming up with 50-50 balls and rebounding the ball, which allowed us to get out in transition,” Grant said.
Junior forward Nick Jacobs put in 13 points while senior guard Trevor Releford added 10.
In his first career start for the Tide, Algie Key scored six points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists. It was Key’s 21st birthday, but that wasn’t the reason he earned the start.
Grant said Key replaced guard Retin Obasohan because Obasohan is recovering from an ankle injury.
Alabama (4-3) travels to Tampa, Fla., Saturday to face South Florida at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. The Tide will return home Saturday, Dec. 14, to host Charleston Southern at 7:30 p.m.