Offense struggles, No. 2 Alabama falls to No. 24 Texas A&M

Mathey Gibson, Staff Reporter

On Saturday, No. 2 Alabama fell to the Texas A&M Aggies 67-61 after an inauspicious 7-for-35 output from deep. 

It was a rough day for Ohio University transfer Mark Sears, who scored five points on 1-for-7 shooting, turning the ball over three times while hitting only one of his five attempts from downtown.  

Things didn’t get much easier for the Crimson Tide backcourt, as freshmen guards Rylan Griffen and Jaden Bradley combined to go 1-for-8 from the field with two turnovers. 

On the flip side, the Aggie duo of Wade Taylor IV and Tyrece Radford couldn’t be contained on their home floor, with Taylor IV pouring in 28 points on 8-for-15 shooting while drilling all ten of his shots at the charity stripe. 

Radford, a 6-foot-2 guard from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, scored 21 points of his own while grabbing seven boards and dishing out four assists — also going a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line.  

On the defensive end, Nate Oats’ squad couldn’t stay disciplined versus the Texas A&M attack, with Brandon Miller and Mark Sears fouling out by game’s end.  

Miller, a projected lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, tallied the lion’s share of scoring for the Crimson Tide, finishing with 19 points on 7-for-23 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds.  

“I thought our effort was decent. We just had too many turnovers, couldn’t make a shot, too many mistakes on defense,” Oats said. “They came ready to play. It turned out to be a great game for the fans. But a lot of things we didn’t do well. We fouled them too much, turned it over 18 times. They were 27-of-28 at the free-throw line. It’s not a recipe for a win.” 

While Alabama couldn’t seal the deal, the Crimson Tide still managed to fight back from a once 15-point deficit — taking its first lead of the game at the 4:47 mark in the second half before making one too many mistakes down the stretch.  

“We’ve got a tough, resilient group that even when they get down, kind of get it back together,” Oats said. “I don’t think we’re aggressive enough on offense. We’re turning the ball over too much early. If we had the exact answer, I’d try to fix it. I’m not sure, but we’re going to talk about it and see if we can’t, and the coaching staff had got to do a better job getting our guys ready to play out of the gate too. Sometimes they settle in and start to play better through the game.” 

After a tough loss on the road, the second-ranked Crimson Tide will likely fall in Monday’s updated AP Poll, but is still in line for a March Madness one-seed heading into next week’s SEC Tournament slate in Nashville.  

Tipoff for No. 2 Alabama versus Florida or Mississippi State in the 2022-23 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinals is set for Friday, March 10, at 12 p.m. CT on ESPN.  

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]