Alabama Men’s Basketball Upsets No. 15 Texas A&M, 63-62
The Alabama men’s basketball team upset No. 15 Texas A&M Wednesday night, winning 63-62 in Coleman Coliseum. With the win the Tide has now defeated four teams ranked in the AP Top 25 in the regular season for the first time since 2001-02.
Alabama (14-9, 5-6 SEC) had built an 11-point lead with 6:34 to play, but the Aggies (18-6, 7-4 SEC) battled back to pull within one in the final seconds. Texas A&M guard Anthony Collins had a chance to win the game or send it to overtime, but Collins, a 93 percent free throw shooter for year entering the contest, missed both free throws with just two seconds on the clock. The Tide then ran out the clock to seal the victory.
“Tonight’s game… we’re just excited on a lot of different levels,” head coach Avery Johnson said. “We had some key contributions across the board. The two guys (Obasohan and Hall) here, Retin just again, he’s been kind of our superman all year. We can depend on him. He does a lot of different things for us, solves a lot of problems. He plays both ends of the floor, plays on the ball, off the ball. He gets assists, he gets steals and he rebounds. Donta had some big blocks and a couple of key plays for us and some steals and then our other guys. Shannon Hale’s 10 points was great. Riley Norris, his defense on House was critical, so I can go on and on. Arthur Edwards making a big shot for us, a big three. We did a good job of defending the three-point line better in the second half than we did in the first half. So just good overall team win. I’m proud of our coaching staff. We install our game plans a day or two before and as hard as our staff works at my assignment and making sure the guys know what we’re doing has gone a long way for us. We have another big one on Friday, but we’re going to enjoy this one tonight.”
Retin Obasohan led the team with 16 points five assists and three steals. He now has 11 double-digit scoring games in the last 12 contests. Freshman Donta Hall grabbed a game-high and season-high 10 rebounds to go along with six points and a pair of steals in 21 minutes of action.
The victory marked the sixth one possession game of the season for Alabama, as the Tide improves to 5-1 in such contests.
Alabama was down early in the game, but used a 14-4 run over the final 9:13 of the first half to take a 32-27 lead into the locker room. Sophomore forward Riley Norris scored all 11 of his points in the first half. Both teams shot well in the opening frame, sinking a combined 11 three-pointers.
Texas A&M regained the lead three minutes into the second half, going up 38-37. However, Alabama immediately answered with an 8-0 run and would never trail again. The Tide held the Aggies scoreless for nearly five minutes during the run. With 9:04 to play, Alabama used a 7-0 run to extend its lead to 58-47 – its largest lead of the game.
That’s when the Aggies rallied, using a 15-5 run over the final six and a half minutes to pull within one point and setting the stage for the dramatic finish.
The Tide outrebounded the Aggies, 36-29, which marked the 10th time this year Alabama has won the battle of the boards, improving to 9-1 in such games. In addition, Alabama recorded a season-best 12 steals in the win.
Jalen Jones led Texas A&M with 21 points and added seven rebounds. Danuel House grabbed eight rebounds to go along with 12 points in the loss.
Alabama heads to Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday, Feb. 13 to take on the Florida Gators. Tipoff against the Gators is set for 4:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.