AT ALABAMA, 50-49
(avail Sat 11:30 PM)
Note: Full and condensed replays are available after 11:30 PM (CT) per SEC regulations.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Trevor Lacey scored 14 points and hit the game-winning jumper with 9 seconds left as Alabama overcame a 14-point first-half deficit to edge Texas A&M 50-49 Saturday.
Playing the 2,500th game in its 100-year program history, the Crimson Tide (11-6, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) trailed 20-6 early and 26-15 at intermission, then opened the second half on a 15-2 run, with Lacey hitting two 3-pointers, to lead 30-28.
The lead went back and forth, with Alex Caruso's layup putting the Aggies (12-5, 2-2) ahead 47-45 with 1:11 left. Andrew Steele answered with a three-point play for Alabama, but Texas A&M regained the lead on Fabyon Harris' jumper with 19 seconds to go. After an Alabama timeout, Lacey scored for the final margin.
On the Aggies' final possession, Lacey was pressuring Caruso, and the in-bounds pass bounced off Lacey's leg and the ball rolled toward midcourt. Trevor Releford, who led Alabama with 15 points, picked up the loose ball to preserve the Crimson Tide's third straight win.
''It was a hard-fought game,'' said Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy. ''(Caruso) got bumped and he lost the ball. It just didn't bounce our way.''
Lacey also had six rebounds and five assists.
''It was a great character win,'' said Alabama coach Anthony Grant. ''We had some adversity from an offensive standpoint to start the game.''
Elston Turner scored 13 points and J'Mychal Reese added 10 for Texas A&M, which lost its second game after four straight wins.
Rodney Cooper's 3-pointer with 16:06 remaining gave the Crimson Tide its first lead since Lacey opened the game with a 3-pointer.
The Aggies responded by outscoring Alabama 11-4 to take a 39-34 lead, capped by a Harris free throw with 8:28 to go. The Crimson Tide fought back, with Releford's layup tying the contest at 41 with 4:01 left.
Reese made a jump shot to make it 43-41 with Releford following with a layup to again tie it up. Two free throws by Releford put Alabama back in front 45-43 before a field goal by Turner knotted it up again, 45-45, with 2:29 remaining.
''I thought Trevor Releford did a good job of taking over the game in the second half,'' Kennedy said. ''Give Alabama credit. They fought and hit a big shot and found a way to win.''
Grant said the Crimson Tide made adjustments in the second half, with its defensive intensity creating offensive opportunities. Alabama had nine steals in the second half.
''And before you knew it we got momentum and changed the energy back in our favor,'' he said. ''We took an 11-point lead and erased it in a matter of seconds. It was a ballgame from there.''
Texas A&M Basketball
Alabama 50, Texas A&M 49
January 19, 2013 - Tuscaloosa, Ala.
- Texas A&M fell to 12-5 on the season with a 2-2 mark in SEC play.
- Alabama, meanwhile, improved to 11-6 and 3-1 in the SEC and has won three straight.
- The Crimson Tide now lead the all-time series, 7-3
- A&M outrebounded its fourth straight SEC opponent (27-25 on the day).
- Senior forward Jarod Jahns made his first career start in the contest ... The Spring, Texas, native played 26 minutes contributing two points and four rebounds.
- Senior Elston Turner scored 13 points to notch double digits in scoring for the 16th time this season... he's scored 10 or more points in 39 of 49 career games at Texas A&M.
- Freshman J'Mychal Reese scored 10 points, reaching double figures for the sixth time this season and scored 10-plus points in back-to-back games for the first time this year.
- Sophomore Kourtney Roberson led the team in rebounds (8) for the third time in the last four games.
1st Half Notes
- Texas A&M lead 26-15 after 20 minutes of play.
- The 15 points scored by Alabama was the second lowest total by a conference foe in first-half play in school history ... only one time has an Aggie team held a league opponent to fewer first half points (Texas Tech, SWC, 13 points on 2/19/1986).
2nd Half Notes
- Alabama began the period on a 19-4 run to take a four-point lead at 34-30 with 14:12 to play.
- The Crimson Tide outscored the Aggies 35-23 after halftime.
Head Coach Billy Kennedy
"(It was a) hard fought game. I thought Trevor Releford did a good job of taking the game over in the second half. I am really proud of our team for competing in a tough environment. We made too many mistakes, turned the ball over too much in the first five minutes of the second half and you have to give Alabama credit, they found a way to win."
On the progress of Jarod Jahns from walk-on to a starter:
"He's given us some great minutes. He's a senior walkon who hasn't played before this year, but because our scholarship numbers are down, he has given us some great minutes thinking and playing hard. He has a great basketball I.Q. and he plays hard - he is about the team. He had to guard [Nick] Jacobs at the end of the first half because we were in foul trouble and they were able to go inside. We had a six-foot, seven-inch, 200 pound walk-on guarding a big-body kid in Jacobs and they were able to take advantage of it, but he fought as hard as he could possibly fight. You have to give Alabama credit. They hit a big shot - we decided to attack after the shot and try to go the length of the floor. [We] got bumped, but you are not going to get that call in that situation, and lost the ball and unfortunately we lost but Alabama had a lot to do with that."
On if he thought about calling a timeout at the end of the game:
"In the huddle before (the last play) we said if they scored and there are eight seconds left or more, we wanted to attack and attack a broken defense. We had opportunities up the floor, but unfortunately he got bumped and lost the ball and that's a freshman losing the ball there. Like I said, it just didn't bounce our way, but we really thought we could attack a broken defense."
Fabyon Harris, Guard #12
On the last two minutes of the ball game:
"As they were making their run, coach was telling us 'every team makes a run' and they were at home so theywere going to make a run - so to just stay calm and make some plays and that is what we did down the stretch, but at the last second they got the play and it went in."
On building their big lead in the first half:
"Defense - we came out with a mentality that we were going to play hard on defense and help each other out. 'If I get beat, or if any one of my teammates gets beat, I will help them out.' So that's what we did and it worked for us in the first half."