Starks' 3-pointer gives Texas A&M win at buzzer over Alabama

By  | 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - TJ Starks hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to lift Texas A&M to an 81-80 win over Alabama on Saturday.

Starks took the inbounds pass, raced down the left side and heaved in a running shot for the win

Josh Nebo finished with a team-high 21 points and seven rebounds for the Aggies (7-7, 1-2 SEC).

Wendell Mitchell finished with 18 points, including three 3-pointers, Savion Flagg added 16 points and Starks, who was just 4-of-17 shooting, had 12.

The Aggies came back from an 11-point halftime deficit, shooting 50 percent in the second half. It made only 3 of 19 3-point attempts but sank 22 of 30 free throws.

The victory was the Aggies' first on the road this season.

Alabama (10-5, 1-2) dropped its second straight SEC game.

John Petty scored a season-high 22 points off the bench and Donta Hall scored 14 and brought down a season-high 16 rebounds for his seventh double-double this season for Alabama. He also blocked four shots.

Kira Lewis Jr. added 14 points, while Tevin Mack scored 10.

The Crimson Tide struggled from the free-throw line at 18 of 29 for 60 percent, their third-lowest percentage this season.

BIG PICTURE:

Texas A&M: The Aggies win their first SEC game of the season, ending a three-game losing streak.

Alabama: Petty, the team's best 3-point shooter, found his stroke. The sophomore hit a season-high six 3-pointers.

UP NEXT:

Texas A&M: Returns home on Wednesday to face No. 11 Auburn.

Alabama: Plays at Missouri on Wednesday.

Texas A&M Basketball Postgame Notes
Texas A&M 81, Alabama 80
Coleman Coliseum (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

ABOUT THE GAME

Texas A&M moved to 7-7 on the year after picking up its first win in SEC play through three games on a buzzer beater from sophomore TJ Starks.
Alabama used a 12-2 run midway through the first half to take a double digit lead and the Aggies were unable to cut it to less than two possessions, trailing 43-32 at the break.
Used an 8-2 push to make it 62-61 Alabama with 7:57 left to play, forcing the Crimson Tide to call a timeout. Redshirt freshman John Walker III knocked down a pair of FTs with 7:30 left to play to give the Aggies their first lead of the day.
There were seven ties and five lead changes from that point on.
It came down to free throws in the final minute and Alabama's Kira Lewis, Jr. went one-of-two from the line to make it a two-point game with three seconds to play.
Starks quickly brought the ball down the court and knocked down the three at the buzzer.
The victory is A&M's eighth in the series and first in Tuscaloosa since 2008.

TEAM NOTES

The Aggies committed a season-low three turnovers in the game, limiting themselves to single digits in the category for just the second time this season.
Despite Alabama taking the rebounding advantage, 45-38, A&M dominated in the paint on the offensive end, outscoring Alabama 48-30.
The Aggies stuck with the same starting lineup of Jay Jay Chandler, Wendell Mitchell, TJ Starks, Savion Flagg, and Christian Mekowulu for the second time this season (1-1).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

Junior Josh Nebo set a new career high with 21 points, going 10-for-12 from the field, adding four blocks and seven rebounds.
Junior Wendell Mitchell helped lead the way, putting up 10 of his 18 points in the first half and adding six rebounds.
Sophomore Savion Flagg came alive in the second half, scoring 14 of his 16 points and grabbing all seven rebounds in the final 20 minutes.
Sophomore TJ Starks nailed the game-winning three to finish with 12 points and score in double figures for the fifth straight game.
Billy Kennedy is now 144-105 in his eight-year tenure at Texas A&M and 355-284 in his 21 seasons as a head coach.

UP NEXT
Texas A&M will return to action Wednesday, Jan. 16 as they host nationally ranked Auburn. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.