Jones’ 19 leads A&M to win over Bama
Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014 23:02
Behind a 19-point performance from junior guard Jamal Jones, Texas A&M defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 63-48 Thursday night at Reed Arena in front of a crowd of 7,089.
Head coach Billy Kennedy said he was happy with his team’s overall performance.
“I thought our guys did a good job of bouncing back from a tough game the other day,” Kennedy said. “Especially in the second half, we did a good job of attacking in transition and sharing the ball. It was good to make some tough plays. We took some charges, we got some loose balls, and we made the extra pass. We played like a team should play.”
The game was close in the first, with the lead changing six different times. The Aggies (15-11, 6-7 SEC) went into halftime with a 24-23 lead over the Crimson Tide (10-16, 4-9 SEC).
At the 15:58 mark in the second half, junior forward Antwan Space blocked a three-point shot by Alabama’s Trevor Releford, which led to a fast break layup by Aggie freshman guard Shawn Smith, changing the momentum in favor of A&M.
After a missed three-point shot by Alabama’s Rodney Cooper, junior guard Jordan Green made a fast break layup off the assist by Space, giving the Aggies a 13 point lead — their largest of the night — with 8:11 to go.
Smith said he knew he would have a tough defensive matchup against Releford.
“Going into the game, they were talking about how he was a great player and a great scorer, averaging like 20 points a game,” Smith said. “I think it was a nice challenge because if I want to be a great player, I’m going to have to be ready to play other great players.”
Space came away with a career-high 12 rebounds and four assists. Space also recorded all three of the Aggies blocked shots.
“I talked to the coaches, trying to find a role that could do to help our team out, and they told me to just rebound,” Space said. “If your shot’s not going in, just play defense and rebound, so that’s what I focused on today.”
A&M welcomes Tennessee (16-10, 7-6 SEC) to College Station at 2 p.m. Saturday in Reed Arena.