Alabama freshman Collin Sexton sunk a game-winning running jumper as the buzzer sounded to lift the No. 9 seed Alabama past No. 8 seed Texas A&M in dramatic fashion, 71-70, in the second round of the 2018 SEC Tournament Thursday afternoon at the Scottrade Center. A loss would have certainly burst the Tide's NCAA tournament bubble.
Wearing a white "Sexton" hoodie, she watched her son on the screen lay in a sweet, underhanded floater at the buzzer for the win Thursday at the SEC basketball tournament. It could have been the shot that sent the 8-seed Aggies to the quarterfinals to face the top-seed Tigers on Friday.
"The main thing was we wanted to get him in space", Johnson said. I know we'll be fired up for that game. "We needed to advance and keep playing until Sunday".
Texas A&M had won three in a row entering the game, including a 68-66 victory over the Crimson Tide six days ago. Chris Porter led the way that day with 22 points.
"When we played them at home the first game (in December) that lineup with Donta and Galin playing together had a pretty decent plus-minus so we went with it". "We lost five straight, and we came back and won this one". At the other end, A&M blocked nine shots with Robert Williams swatting seven. He's averaged over 18 points per game this season.
Sexton's coast-to-coast venture wasn't merely an exclamation, but also an answer. He followed with a layup to regain the lead for Alabama. However, Sexton capped off a tremendous game when he connected on the game-winner to snap the Tide's five-game losing streak.
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"When you're in the gym, sometimes you imagine stuff like that and you always have to be prepared", Sexton said.
After a scuffle between freshman guards TJ Starks and Collin Sexton on Saturday that led to the ejection of Starks and a technical foul on Sexton, A&M head coach Billy Kennedy emphasized the importance of not letting extracirruclar activities affect their play.
Tomorrow's Alabama-Auburn game will be televised at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.
"We got stuck against their zone in the second half but persevered", Johnson said. "Our team showed some maturity". According to auburntigers.com, it's the first time since 1956, when the coaches began voting on an All-SEC team, that the regular-season champion did not have a player on the first team.
To say that Johnson was pleased with that response would be an understatement. They were strong mentally. "Let's see what happens (Friday)".