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TIDE ROLLS ON FELIX'S 3-POINTERS NO. 10 ALABAMA 90, NO. 7 MARQUETTE 85.

Byline: Ramona Shelburne Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO - Sometime early Friday morning, far across the Atlantic Ocean, in a small sport fishing town on the west coast of Africa, Jean Felix's family members will turn on their television sets and learn that their son has become something of a hero in his adopted country.

Thursday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Cox Arena, Felix got as hot as the blistering summer afternoons in his native land, the French Congo.

The 6-foot-7 senior made a school postseason-record eight 3-pointers and finished with 31 points as No. 10 seed Alabama upset No. 7 Marquette 90-85 to advance to a second-round game against No. 2 seed UCLA on Saturday.

``I've seen him get hot before, but never that hot,'' teammate Richard Hendrix said.

Felix, who attended high school in Alabama and hasn't been home in seven years, converted five 3-pointers in the first 12 1/2 minutes as Alabama built a 15-point lead. Coming into Thursday's game, Felix shot 2 for 14 in his last two games.

Marquette, whose three seniors played in the Final Four as freshmen in 2003 but had to wait three years for a return trip to the tournament, made a strong second-half run, slicing the 14-point halftime lead down to one in just seven minutes.

The Golden Eagles even took the lead 60-59 on a dunk by Ousmane Barro with 11:20 to go.

Alabama built the lead back to 81-71 with a 13-4 run, but Marquette still had something left. Steve Novak made back-to-back 3-pointers inside of the 4-minute mark to cut the lead down to 84-83. He had a chance to win it twice - with a 10-foot jumper with 26 seconds left and then a wide-open 3-pointer from the corner with 12 seconds left - but rimmed out on both.

Ramona Shelburne, (818) 713-3617

ramona.shelburne(at)dailynews.com
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 17, 2006
Words:315
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