No. 1 Bama breezes past Texas A&M-CC in first round
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The No. 1 overall seeded Alabama men's basketball team defeated the No. 16 seeded Texas A&M CC 96-75 inside of Legacy Arena to advance to the South's Region Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Crimson Tide will face the No. 8 seeded Maryland Terrapins on Saturday afternoon in Birmingham.
Alabama's offense came out of the gates on fire on Thursday. The Tide (30-5) is outscoring its last four opponents 48-18 in the first few minutes of the last four games. Alabama jumped out to an early 9-0 lead with seven of the first nine points coming from Noah Clowney. Alabama made 10 threes during the opening 20 minutes, taking a 54-34 lead into halftime. Mark Sears led all scorers at the break with 13 first half points, along with 10 points from Clowney to give UA the 20-point halftime cushion.
The Crimson Tide had five players reach double figures on the offensive end, led by 19 from Nick Pringle, 15 from Mark Sears, 13 from Jahvon Quinerly, 11 from Nimari Burnett and 10 from Noah Clowney. Pringle scored all 19 of his points in the second half to go along with 15 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
Texas A&M CC (24-11) had four players in double figures, led by Trevian Tennyson with 20 points. Issac Mushila (15), Owen Dease (14) and Ross Williams (11) combined with Tennyson to lead the Islanders' offensive effort.
HEAD COACH NATE OATS POSTGAME COMMENTS
"March, survive and advance, I think that's what we did. It was a good offensive game. Our defense has to get a lot better by Saturday. It was nice to come out and make some shots. I was happy to see Mark. He's been in the gym working a lot since the SEC weekend. It showed. I thought he came out, shot it really well. Four straight game Trey's -- JQ started. He started out with early leads in all of them. Kind of changed the narrative of that. We were up 9-zip this game, I think. If you combine our total starts it was 48-18 these last four games. It's nicer to play with a lead from the beginning. We had 21 assists tonight. I think the ball has been moving. Shows how unselfish our guys are. They kept playing. Kept fighting. They had a great start to the second half. I believe Tennyson had 0 at half and ended up with 20 in the second half. Wasn't great for our defense. We'll be better against Maryland; we are going to have to be or we won't get a win. Great to move to the second round. None of these tournament games are supposed to be easy."
- Thursday's first round matchup marks the second time the Tide and the Islanders have faced on the hardwood, UA defeated Texas A&M CC 76-54 on Dec. 22, 2004, in Tuscaloosa in the only previous matchup between the two squads
- Alabama's 96-75 victory over Texas A&M CC is the first win for UA inside Legacy Arena since Dec. 18, 2019, when the Tide defeated the Samford Bulldogs 105-87
- Alabama is now 3-0 in NCAA Tournament games played in Birmingham, with the most recent victories coming in the first and second rounds of the 1987 NCAA Tournament when UA defeated North Carolina A&T and New Orleans
- Alabama made 15 three-pointers during the game, placing second in program history for most made three-pointers in an NCAA Tournament game only trailing 16 made threes in the Round of 32 game against Maryland in 2021
- With his four blocked shots today, Charles Bediako has now blocked 15 shots in the postseason
- Alabama had five players reach double figures during the game, Nick Pringle (19), Mark Sears (15), Jahvon Quinerly (13), Nimari Burnett (11) and Noah Clowney (11)
- Nick Pringle picked up his second double-double of the season with 19 points and 15 rebounds
- Alabama held a slight edge on the glass, outrebounding the Islanders 48-44
- Alabama dished out 21 assists compared to 8 from Texas A&M CC, led by Jaden Bradley with six
- The Crimson Tide's bench outscored the Islander's bench 49-29
- Alabama led for the entirety of the contest
- Alabama came out of the gates on fire, opening a commanding 9-0 lead on seven of the early points coming from Noah Clowney
- Clowney had met his season average of 10 points per game before the second media timeout of the half
- Alabama hit 5-of-7 from beyond the arc before hitting the halfway point of the opening stanza
- Mark Sears made three consecutive three-pointers on three consecutive possessions to stretch the UA lead to 37-23 with 7:20 to play
- The Tide's 10 first half three-pointers placed third in all-time three-pointers made in a game for Alabama during the NCAA Tournament
- Alabama passed the 50-point mark in the first half for the fifth time this season
- Alabama outrebounded Texas A&M CC 24-16, while dishing out 12 first half assists compared to three from the Islanders
- Sears led all scorers at the intermission with 13 points
- Alabama shot 53 percent (17-of-32) from the field and 59 percent (10-of-17) from three, while Texas A&M CC made 31 percent (11-of-35) from the field and 25 percent (3-of-12) from beyond the arc in the opening frame
- Alabama led for the entirety of the first half and never let the score get closer than three points
- Texas A&M CC opened the first 2:19 on an 8-3 run to cut the lead to 57-44, forcing an Alabama timeout
- Alabama responded well and sparked a 7-0 run of its own over 1:00 to stretch the lead back out to 20 (64-44), with 15:39 remaining in the game
- Nick Pringle was very active during the second half; the junior had all 19 of his points in the second half along with grabbing 10 rebounds (15 total) to record his second double-double of the season
- The Tide shot 42 percent (16-of-38) in the second half to put up 42 second half points
- Alabama dished out nine second half assists, with a two a piece coming from Brandon Miller, Jaden Bradley, and Rylan Griffen
- Charles Bediako and Griffen had a pair of blocks a piece in the second stanza
Alabama will move onto the Second Round against the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday afternoon inside Legacy Arena