No. 25 Alabama aims to continue ascent vs. Texas A&M
No. 25 Alabama will look to maintain its late-season momentum on Wednesday night when it hosts Texas A&M in a Southeastern Conference game in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Crimson Tide (19-10, 9-7) have won five of their past six games, most recently 90-71 over visiting South Carolina on Saturday.
Texas A&M (18-11, 7-9) is coming off a 76-66 victory at Ole Miss on Saturday. The win was the Aggies' third in their past four contests following an eight-game losing streak.
The Crimson Tide entered the week in sole possession of fifth place in the SEC, a game ahead of LSU, Florida, South Carolina and Mississippi State. Alabama will close the regular season at LSU on Saturday.
Texas A&M is in 10th place, a game ahead of Vanderbilt.
The top 10 teams in the regular season receive at least a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The top four teams will secure a double-bye.
However, if the Aggies fall to 11th place, they won't get a first-round bye and would have to play last-place Georgia in the first round of the tournament. Texas A&M will close the regular season against visiting Mississippi State on Saturday.
Alabama is peaking at the right time.
Jaden Shackelford, who averages a team-high 17.0 points per game, came off the bench to score a game-high 21 against the Gamecocks.
South Carolina opened the second half on a 25-8 run to pull to 58-52 with 12:05 remaining. Alabama, however, responded with a 23-8 run to essentially put the game away.
"Obviously, the start of the second half wasn't what we wanted," Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats said. "We've gotta mature a little bit and play just as hard with a 23-point lead as we do when we're only up six. That's the area we've gotta grow. But I do think when we got it cut to six after being up 23, I think we showed some maturity, came out and got some stops, got some buckets and opened it back up, which showed a lot about our team."
Jahvon Quinerly, who averages 14.3 points per game, posted 20 points and five assists on Saturday.
Keon Ellis, who averages 11.9 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds per game, finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. Reserves Charles Bediako and Davison scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Texas A&M used a fast start against Ole Miss and never looked back.
Tyrece Radford had 19 points and seven rebounds and Quenton Jackson added 11 points, five rebounds and three steals for the Aggies. Hassan Diarra had 13 points and four rebounds and Henry Coleman III chipped in nine points and seven rebounds.
Jackson averages a team-high 14.0 points per game, while Coleman chips in a team-high 6.1 rebounds to go along with 10.4 points per game. Radford averages 10.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
"They understand what's at stake," Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said. "They have great pride in who they are and the relationships they have with one another. I think you can feel that. I think you can hear that. I think you can sense that. If you're watching, I think you can see that."
--Field Level Media
Updated February 28, 2022