COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Jamal Jones scored 19 points as Texas A&M defeated Alabama 63-48 on Thursday night.
The Aggies led 24-23 at halftime but built a 10-point lead over the first 10 minutes of the second half thanks to a combined 17 points from Jones and Alex Caruso - who finished with 14 points. The Aggies (15-11 overall, 6-7 SEC), trying to make the postseason for the first time under third-year coach Billy Kennedy, rebounded from a 57-54 overtime loss at Vanderbilt on Saturday.
The reeling Crimson Tide (10-16, 4-9), led by guard Trevor Releford's 20 points, lost their second consecutive contest and have dropped six of their last seven under fifth-year coach Anthony Grant.
A&M shot 6 of 14 (43 percent) from 3-point range in winning for the first time against Alabama as an SEC member.
A&M dominated Alabama in second-chance points (16-4), points in the paint (32-18) and offensive rebounds (12-6).
Post game quotes:
TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH BILLY KENNEDY
"I think our guys did a good job of bouncing back from the tough game the other day. I thought in the second half, especially, we did a good job of attacking the basket and sharing the ball. We took some charges, got some loose balls and we made the extra pass. We played like a team should play tonight."
On the assists tonight…
"I thought we did a really good job sharing the ball with 19 assists. We've done that the last few games but we haven't finished at the basket as well as we want to. But least we are making the extra pass and the right play."
On Antwan Space…
"We told our guys that someone needed to have a double-double tonight. He did some intangible things by executing the game plan on Releford and his hard play showed on both ends of the floor."
On the quick turnaround before the team plays Tennessee Saturday…
"We have to be able to put this game behind us. We can enjoy it tonight, but tomorrow we have to get back to business and prepare for Tennessee. I think they're a very good team. They've got seniors and maturity. This is a big game for us. We have to be able to put back to back games together, we haven't been able to do that in a while."
TEXAS A&M SOPHMORE ANTWAN SPACE
On his rebounding…
“I was trying to think of a role to help our team out, and that was helping with rebounds. If shots aren’t going in, getting rebounds was where my mindset was today. Trying to get second chance points.”
On the Aggies’ strong second half…
“Play calling by coach was definitely big. He calls plays that, when we run correctly, we get a layup or an open three. We were just running all the plays coach was calling so we had open shots.”
On his favorite part of Jan. 11th’s win over Tennessee…
“Seeing Jamal coming out in the second half with so much confidence. Our whole team seemed like they just wanted to win even though we were down. I guess it has turned into a quick rivalry. All our games have been close.”
On being prouder of career highs in rebounds or assists…
“I’m more proud of assists. I’m a big, I’m supposed to rebound.”
TEXAS A&M RS FRESHMAN SHAWN SMITH
On building and maintaining the lead after the loss at Vanderbilt…
“When we went up to Nashville, it was a tough loss for us, so just wanted to come (tonight) out throw the first punch. We wanted to play hard and show everybody that we have a nice team this year. It was just us sticking together and learning how to stay consistent. We said last week that we let the game go, and we knew we couldn’t do that in this game. We had to stay focused and keep playing hard through the buzzer to knock down open shots and keep making plays.”
On playing at home…
“The crowd gets us amped up. The crowd is always with us, even when thing are tough. Just knowing that we have family behind us to help us pick it up to another level is a boost for us. It’s the 12th Man.”
On guarding Alabama’s Trevor Releford…
“I think it was a great challenge, because if I want to be a great defender or a great player then I have to play other great players. So I think it was a nice challenge for me.”
On quick turnaround…
“I think we just need to come into practice focused. I think the big thing for this team is staying consistent. We need to go into practice with our head on our shoulders, going hard and listening to everything coach says.”
ALABAMA HEAD COACH ANTHONY GRANT
“Texas A&M was the better team tonight. They did a great job on the glass. In the first half we had opportunities to have the lead going into the half but they were able to make enough plays to get the lead at the half. Unfortunately, in the second half their energy was better than ours. They made enough plays to build a lead that we weren’t able to account for.”
TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES
● Texas A&M improved to 15-11 on the season and 6-7 in SEC play after the 63-48 win over Alabama Thursday night in Reed Arena.
● The meeting was the 11th between the Aggies and Crimson Tide and the first in College Station since 2007 … The all-time series between the schools after the A&M victory continues to stand in favor of Alabama at 7-4.
● The Aggies held the Tide to a series low in points (48) while also boasting the largest series winning margin of 15.
● Texas A&M is 14-2 on its home court this season.
● The Aggies fought hard on the boards, grabbing 12 offensive rebounds which led a 16-4 advantage in second chance points… A&M enjoyed a 38-31 edge in the rebounding column.
● A&M was at home in the paint where is scored 32 points compared to Alabama’s 18.
● The Aggies shot 41.4 percent from the field while the Tide shot 37.0 percent.
● A&M headed into the intermission with a 24-23 lead over Alabama and never looked back … Following the break, A&M went on to outscore Alabama 39-25 on tremendous shooting, 15-of-27 (55.6%).
● The Aggies dished out 19 assists on 24 made baskets in the contest.
● The Maroon & White used the starting line-up combination of Alex Caruso, Shawn Smith, Antwan Space Green, Jamal Jones and Kourtney Roberson for the fourth time this season.
● Sophomore Antwan Space enjoyed a tremendous night on the boards as well as sharing the basketball, bringing down a career-high 12 rebounds to go along with a personal-best four assists.
● Junior Jamal Jones finished in double-digit scoring for the 15th game this year … The guard registered a team-high 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
● Sophomore Alex Caruso chipped in 14 points, going 5-of-7 (71%) from the floor.
● A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 47-44 in his third season at Texas A&M and 258-223 in 16 years as a head coach.
● For the first time this season, Texas A&M will host back-to-back SEC games at Reed Arena when it returns to the court Saturday vs. Tennessee ... Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.