No. 8 Alabama looks to stay hot vs. Texas A&M

NCAA

Eighth-ranked Alabama looks to move closer to a Southeastern Conference regular-season title with a win at Texas A&M on Thursday afternoon in College Station, Texas.

The Crimson Tide (17-5, 12-1 SEC) are coming off a 115-82 home win over Georgia last Saturday, in which the team set a program record for points in an SEC game and scored the second-most points in a game in school history. Alabama made 64 percent of its shots for the game and knocked down 18 of 30 3-pointers.

Herbert Jones led the way with 21 points, and freshman Joshua Primo scored all 19 of his points in the second half. Guard Jaden Shackelford added 18 points.

John Petty Jr. set a program record for 3s made in a career — now at 745.

“It’s good to finally see the ball go in again. It’s good to see Herb Jones a lot closer to 100 percent. He’s still not quite there, but man, did he look better,” Alabama head coach Nate Oats said. “That makes our offense a whole lot better when Herb is playing explosive like he was. We shot it well. We got to the free throw line and made free throws. We made threes. Outside of the turnovers on offense, I thought our offense was pretty good. … I thought a lot of guys shot the ball well. It’s a feel-good win, but we definitely have some work to do on the defensive side of it.”

The Tide’s success is built on balanced scoring. Shackelford’s 13.9 points per game lead the team, but Petty is at 13.4 and Jones 11.9. Alabama is averaging almost 81 points per game and is beating opponents by 10.7 points per game.

Texas A&M (8-7, 2-6) has had four straight games postponed this month due to COVID-19 issues. The Aggies have not played a game since a Jan. 30 win at Kansas State.

Emanuel Miller leads the Aggies in scoring at 14.8 points per game, and his 7.7 rebounds per game also lead the team. No other Texas A&M player averages in double figures in scoring.

Aggies coach Buzz Williams acknowledged that this season has been unlike any other.

“It’s a virus, and it can impact anybody,” Williams told the Bryan-College Station Eagle earlier this month. “It’s almost like it’s a ghost. You can’t see it. You can’t touch it. You can’t (say), ‘Oh I’m about to get COVID.’ It’s chasing a ghost. You just try and be as safe as you can and follow all the protocols. We have been very stringent in how we’ve handled things in our office and how we’ve handled things in our facility.”

Texas A&M is 9-9 against Alabama overall since 1992, but the Aggies have three straight wins in the series.

Shackelford had 24 points in the most recent meeting, Feb. 19, 2020.

–Field Level Media

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