In a tale of two halves, the Alabama men's basketball team overcame an 11-point first-half deficit to beat Texas A&M 50-49 in a Southeastern Conference thriller that came down to the final seconds Saturday afternoon in Coleman Coliseum.
Junior guard Trevor Releford led Alabama with 15 points while sophomore guard Trevor Lacey added 14 more to the Crimson Tide's effort. Alabama moves to 11-6 overall, and 3-1 in SEC play following its 2,500th game in Coleman Coliseum, while the Aggies falls to 12-5 and 2-2 in the SEC.
"We found a way," UA Head Coach Anthony Grant said. "What we talked about before the game is you have to stay the course. We knew it would be a 40-minute game."
The Tide struggled throughout much of the first half, shooting only 27.8% (5-18) from the field and committing 10 turnovers. Despite its poor shooting, Alabama went into halftime only down by 11 at 26-15. The second half was a very different story, as Alabama shot over 55% from the field for the third straight game. Every one of Releford's 15 points came in the second half.
"The turnovers hurt us early," Grant said. "The thing we talked about at halftime was the need to come out with energy and get stops and cut the lead in half before the first timeout. We were able to come out in the first two minutes and do a lot more than that and I thought it changed the whole complexion of the game."
The game went back and forth, especially in the second half when there were six ties and eight lead changes.
Coming into game, Texas A&M led the SEC in three-point shooting percentage, but Alabama held the Aggies to 18.2% (2-11) for the game while shooting 54.5% (6-11) from behind the three-point line. Lacey led the Tide from beyond the three-point arc as he shot 66.7% (4-6).
Two Texas A&M players scored in double digits. Guard Elston Turner had 13 and guard J'Mychal Reese scored 10.
Alabama plays again Tuesday, January 22, against Kentucky in Coleman Coliseum as the Tide looks for their fourth SEC win in a row. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT and the game will be televised by ESPN and the radio broadcast will be carried on the Crimson Tide Sports Network.