Keon Ellis had 20 points and 10 rebounds as No. 6 Alabama held off Jacksonville State for a 65-59 nonconference victory Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Jahvon Quinerly scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half as the Crimson Tide (9-2) took control with an 18-2 run and held off a JSU comeback. Darius Miles added 10 points.
Darian Adams scored 18 points, Jalen Gibbs scored 12 and Kayne Henry added 10 to lead the Gamecocks (5-6).
Both teams struggled with their shooting, but Alabama enjoyed a 19-2 advantage in fast-break points.
Henry’s 3-pointer provided the Gamecocks’ first points of the second half and tied the score at 31.
Ellis responded with a 3-pointer of his own before the score was tied twice more.
Jay Pal’s layup gave JSU a two-point lead before Alabama scored eight straight to take a 47-41 lead.
Quinerly made three baskets to help the Tide take a 14-point lead.
Gibbs’ free throw ended a 3 1/2-minute scoring drought for the Gamecocks, but Quinerly answered with a 3-pointer for a 60-44 lead with 4:49 remaining.
Adams scored five points and Demaree King made a 3-pointer during a 12-2 run that pulled JSU within 62-56 with 2:09 remaining.
Miles made two free throws before Adams’ basket and Pal’s free throw cut the lead to 64-59 with 1:04 left.
After a Tide miss, the Gamecocks had a chance to get closer but missed two shots and Noah Gurley made one of two free throws for the Tide with 15 seconds left.
Ellis made three free throws and two 3-pointers as Alabama took an 11-5 lead.
JSU scored the next seven points before J.D. Davison’s layup gave the Tide a 13-12 lead.
Gibbs scored five points as the Gamecocks took their biggest lead of the half at 20-13.
Ellis’ 3-pointer pulled Alabama within two points before JSU opened a 28-22 lead.
Quinerly scored four points, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, as the Tide closed on a 7-0 run to take a 29-28 halftime lead.
–Field Level Media
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