Alabama scored a 79-57 win over No. 5 Texas A&M on Saturday at Coleman Coliseum.
Let’s run through the biggest positives from the game for the Crimson Tide, as they try to keep the momentum going on Tuesday at Vanderbilt.
After Alabama’s miserable offensive performance against Texas, the Crimson Tide turned in one their best offensive outputs of the season against one of the best defensive teams in college basketball in Texas A&M.
The Aggies tank 3rd in defensive efficiency according to KenPom and also boast one of the best shot blockers in the country in Robert Williams.
Alabama was able to find consistent offensive in both halves, save a four minute scoring drought to end the first period.
The main reason for Alabama’s offensive success was the balance in scoring. Alabama had four starters above 16 points, and 15 of John Petty’s 18 points came from behind the arc. Petty’s three point shot opened a lot of holes in the Texas A&M defense which created driving lanes for Collin Sexton and Dazon Ingram.
Alabama only shot 45 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point land, but assisted on 14 of its 26 made field goals and only turned the ball over 12 times.
Alabama has faced consistency issues on the offensive end all season, so time will tell if the Tide can find stable offense in SEC play.
Alabama held Texas A&M to its season low of 57 points on Saturday. The Crimson Tide held the Aggies to 30 percent shooting and an abysmal 9.5 percent (2 of 21) from beyond the arc.
Alabama packed the paint and forced A&M into tough perimeter and mid range shots that the Aggies simply could not make.
It’s no secret that Texas A&M missed DJ Hogg and Admon Gilder, two of its top three leading scorers. However, the Aggies were unable to get anything going at all offensively due to Alabama’s length and tenacity on defense.
Alabama protected the rim, recording nine blocks in the game. The Aggies struggled to establish a presence in the post, a staple of Texas A&M’s offense.
Alabama’s offense was great, but its defense won the Tide this game. Alabama smothered the Aggies and prevented A&M from running its normal offense.
Avery Johnson and his staff formulated a near perfect defensive game plan and it proved to be the difference maker in this game.
While Alabama didn’t necessarily need a great performance from the foul line to win this game, the Crimson Tide’s free throw performance was still a big positive.
Alabama went 20-24 (83.3%) from the free throw line, which is encouraging for a team that has struggled in this aspect all season long.
If Alabama can become consistent in its free throw shooting, it could make the difference in some close SEC games.