TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Quenton Jackson and Texas A&M kept the game close for 20 minutes, then made sure it didn't stay that way.
Jackson scored 28 points and Tyrece Radford had 22 to lead the resurgent Aggies to an 87-71 victory over No. 25 Alabama on Wednesday night.
Jackson had 15 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half to lead the Aggies (19-11, 8-9 Southeastern Conference) to their third straight win. The Crimson Tide (19-11, 9-8) were outscored 50-31 after taking a three-point lead into halftime in the team's home finale.
“It’s one of the best games that we’ve played from start to finish,” Jackson said. “I think the level of opponent that Alabama is, is what makes it a better game. We were able to control the pace of the game.”
Jackson made 9 of 13 shots and all nine free-throw attempts. Radford did much of his damage with a 4-of-6 performance from 3-point range and had eight rebounds.
Henry Coleman III had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Aggies, who had an emotional celebration when the starters left the game at the end. They made 19 of 30 second-half shots (63%).
“I’m a little bit at a loss for words because I am so emotional based on the process, not just the result of the game,” Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said. "We played really well and we played the way that we had to play in order to have a chance to win against a team as talented as they are.
“But it’s all of the things cumulative and the accumulation of the daily habits required to even be in this position.”
Jaden Shackelford led Alabama with 16 points but was 4-of-12 shooting, with all four baskets from 3-point range. He was held to four points in the second half.
Jahvon Quinerly came off the bench and scored 14 points for Alabama, while Keon Ellis scored 13. Coach Nate Oats said he and his players were “embarrassed” by the effort.
“They outrebounded us and turned us over 19 times,” Oats said. "Mainly the effort and the tough stuff, they beat us on.
“Our defense was a disaster in the second half.”
Jackson led a big charge out of halftime when the Aggies scored the first eight points. Texas A&M scarcely let up the rest of the way, with help from a big sequence by Radford.
Alabama pulled within 69-61 before Radford took over. He had a steal and basket and then followed with two 3s for a 77-61 lead with 4:47 to play.
“I was just telling our team, ‘We aren’t losing this one. We’ve got to keep it going,’” Radford said.
Unlike Texas A&M, Alabama appears to have an NCAA Tournament bid locked up. But Oats' postgame message in the locker room was blunt.
“The end’s going to come quick if this is the effort we give," he said when asked what he told the team.
Alabama turned to freshman JD Davison as the starter at point guard in place of Quinerly, the team's second-leading scorer. Davison had six points and six assists. Sophomore forward Darius Miles made the second start of his career and scored two points.
Texas A&M: Has won four of its last five games after an eight-game skid that followed a 4-0 SEC start. This was the Aggies' third straight win in Coleman Coliseum. Outrebounded 'Bama 33-24.
Alabama: Continued a roller-coaster season. The Crimson Tide had no answers for the Aggies' surge in the second half, and they managed just two second-chance points.
Williams said his early technical foul was the first he has drawn in an SEC game in nearly three seasons with Texas A&M. He had some fun with it afterward.
“I said, ‘Am I allowed to talk to you?’” he said. “It hurts my feelings. That was my first technical and that's what I asked. It's criminal on my part. You've got to get more out of it. It's astonishing.”
Alabama visits LSU on Saturday in its regular-season finale.
Texas A&M closes the regular season against Mississippi State on Saturday night.
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