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Men's basketball return home for clash with Tide

A&M looks to rebound after overtime loss

Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 23:02

The Texas A&M men’s basketball team will tip off against the Alabama Crimson Tide 6 p.m. Thursday at Reed Arena.

 Head coach Billy Kennedy is glad to be back at Reed for four of the next six games.

 

 “Every game, road or at home, is bit for us right now,” Kennedy said. “We let a couple opportunities get away from us on the road recently. However, we’re playing well, playing better, but you have to come up with a win and that is where we’re at right now. Every game is big, because we need to win that game.”

 

 Texas A&M is coming off a disappointing 54-57 overtime loss at Vanderbilt Saturday.

 

Junior guard Jamal Jones scored a game-high 17 points and 13 rebounds en route go recording his first career double-double.

 “We know we shouldn’t have lost against [Vanderbilt],” Jones said. “We’re getting ready for the next one now so we can get the taste out of our mouths. We just gave the game away and we can’t do that.”

 

 The last time the two programs faced each other, Alabama edged out A&M 50-49 on Jan 19.  Alabama guard Trevor Releford came off the bench and elevated the Tide over the Aggies with his game-high 15 points. Senior Elston Turner, who has since graduated, added  a 13-point performance for the Aggies.

 

 Sophomore guard Alex Caruso feels that Alabama is a scrappy team and will be ready to face the Aggies come Thursday.

 

 “They have a really good senior point guard in Releford,” Caruso said. “[Releford] is a first- team SEC kind of player and is the heart of their team.”

 

 Trevor Releford leads the Crimson Tide in scoring with 19 points per game and leads the SEC in steals per game.

 

 Alabama is coming off a loss in its previous matchup against the South Carolina Gamecocks, 66-67. Releford attempted a three-point shot with six seconds left that got stuck between the rim and the backboard resulting in a jump ball, giving South Carolina possession and opportunity to win the game.

 

 South Carolina’s Sindarious Thornwell hit two free throws with five seconds left to give the Gamecocks the win. Releford had a game-high 27 points, with 25 of them coming in the second half.

 

 Alabama currently owns the all-time series with the Aggies 7-3, but the Aggies are 4-1 in conference play when in front of the Reed Rowdies. The Crimson Tide have lost five of its last six games and has yet to win an SEC matchup on the road.

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