TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP)-- John Petty made five 3-pointers and scored 18 points to help Alabama knock off No. 5 Texas A&M 79-57 on Saturday night in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
The Crimson Tide (9-4) rebounded from a lackluster performance against Texas to easily upset the short-handed Aggies (11-2). Texas A&M matched its highest ranking in the AP poll this week after a four-game winning streak but got off to a rough start in league play.
Alabama big man Donta Hall had 17 points and six rebounds as four players accounted for 67 points. Collin Sexton, the SEC's leading scorer, had 16 points. He was just 3-of-12 shooting but missed only once in 10 foul shots. Dazon Ingram also had 16 points, along with six rebounds and three assists.
The Aggies were without leading scorer DJ Hogg, serving the second of a three-game suspension for violating school policy. With starting guard Admon Gilder also out with a knee injury, the Aggies struggled offensively.
Tyler Davis and Robert Williams both had 14 points for the Aggies. Williams added eight rebounds and Davis six. The Aggies didn't make a field goal over the final 5:24, missing nine in a row.
Petty hit two 3-pointers in a 20-second span to give Alabama a 57-41 lead six minutes into the second half. The Aggies cut it back to single digits before Alabama started an 11-1 spurt with Hall's layup to reclaim control of the game.
Alabama had another big momentum swing earlier in the half. Texas A&M's Davis was called for a flagrant foul trying to keep Sexton from an easy layup. Sexton went to the bench in pain while officials reviewed the play, before changing the call to a flagrant.
Sexton stayed in and hit both free throws to start a quick 8-0 Alabama run.
Alabama had closed the first half on a four-minute scoring drought, allowing the Aggies to cut a 12-point deficit down to 35-28.
Texas A&M's Duane Wilson appeared to hurt his right leg with about 7 minutes left in the game, staying in it before crumpling to the court with the first clock stoppage. He scored nine points.
The two teams meet again in the regular season finale.
RECORDS / SERIES NOTES
Texas A&M dropped its SEC opener to Alabama, 79-57, on Saturday evening at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa … The Aggies' season record stands at 11-2 on the year with an 0-1 mark in league play.
The all-time series between the schools is now 11-5 in favor of the Crimson Tide.
Missing a pair of its top shooters – Admon Gilder (injury) and DJ Hogg (suspension) – the Aggies struggled shooting the ball from distance, finishing 2-for-21 from 3-point range (9.5 percent), including misses on their first 10 attempts from long range.
In total, A&M shot a season-low 30.0 percent from the field (21-of-70) … Alabama, meanwhile, shot 45.6 percent for the game.
Texas A&M used the starting lineup combination of Duane Wilson, Jay Jay Chandler, Savion Flagg, Tonny Trocha-Morelos and Tyler Davis for the third time this season (2-1).
Sophomore Robert Williams continued his school-record blocked shot streak, extending the run to 40 consecutive games with a block by notching two swats vs. the Crimson Tide … Williams finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Junior Tyler Davis also reached double-digit scoring for the 11th time this season, contributing 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
Rookie Savion Flagg led the Aggies with nine rebounds in the contest.
Aggie head coach Billy Kennedy fell to 126-87 during his seven-year tenure at Texas A&M and 337-266 in 20 seasons as a head coach.
The Aggies host their first SEC contest of the season on Tuesday when they welcome Florida to at Reed Arena ... the game is slated for an 8 p.m. (CT) tip off and will be televised on ESPN2.