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A&M Stuns Alabama On The Road; Rises Above .500 in SEC Play

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We’ve edged into the top half of the SEC at 7-6, which is a far cry from our dismal preseason prediction

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

What else can you say about this team?

We won as a huge road underdog for the third time in SEC play, giving us more conference road wins (4) than everyone but Kentucky.

This team never gives up, and it’s obvious that Buzz Williams’ system has fully taken hold.

Box Score

First Half

Texas A&M Basketball looked good early.

Bama was playing as advertised, running and gunning and taking the first good shot they saw within 25 feet… and they were missing everything. That gave us a comfortable lead for most of the first half, but Bama’s frenetic style caught up to us late. That team can score in bunches, which they displayed with a 12-0 run that came from absolutely nowhere.

When the dust settled, the Tide had a six point lead that honestly didn’t tell the full story.

Halftime Score: Alabama 34, Texas A&M 28

Second Half

In the second half… we flipped it on ‘em. The Tide had a 2-3 possession advantage for most of the half, but a late 12-0 run on OUR end pushed this one out of reach. Quenton Jackson closed the show, hitting a huge late three and icing the game with an incredible performance (13-14) from the stripe. To be fair, Alabama had some good looks late... but they just didn’t drop.

Now, it wasn’t always perfect. You could give a clinic with how not to close out a game based on tonight’s activity… but hey, we got it done. Even if it took 10 minutes longer than it needed to.

Final Score: Texas A&M 74, Alabama 68

Quotes

I can’t find raw press conference footage... so here are a handful of tweets supporting the “Buzz Williams: SEC Coach of the Year” bandwagon.

Additional Notes

  • We were 11-24 (46%) from downtown. It was our best effort of the season, and only the second game where we’ve hit double digit threes. And if you can believe this... we had better numbers from outside the arc than inside the arc.
  • The Tide’s inability to get into the paint was almost comical. I know they like to shoot threes, but there’s no way they designed an approach to shoot 74.6 percent of their shots from beyond the arc. Giving up 16 threes tied our season high… but if they have to shoot 44 to get it, that’s not bad.
  • Jackson (20 points, 13-14 FT) was great, and he’s fully in the starting lineup. It’s a shame that he only has one more year of eligibility remaining after this season.
  • Mitchell and Jackson have become agents of chaos defensively. Mitchell has at least two steals in his last seven games, and both rank inside the top four in SEC steal rate.

Overall Thoughts

How can you not love these guys?

We were left for dead… yet we keep winning. We have such a narrow path to victory, and it requires a great deal of effort… yet we keep chugging along at a frenetic twice-a-week pace.

For me, this season is already a full and unqualified success, and now we’re entering a stretch of games against the upper tier of the SEC. If we win any of them, I’ll be thrilled. If we lose, we’ve still accomplished everything I was hoping for this season.

Let’s load up the house money and head back to Reed Arena.

BTHO Mississippi State