Alabama Men’s Basketball Welcomes No. 15 Texas A&M on Wednesday Night Tide and Aggies set to tip off at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network
Feb. 9, 2016
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama men’s basketball team, winners in three of its last four games, returns to action on Wednesday night when it hosts No. 15/13 Texas A&M in the lone meeting between the two teams this season. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT.
The Crimson Tide is coming off its second consecutive win with an 80-71 victory over Missouri last Saturday afternoon. The Tide led by as many as 24 points midway through the second half before going on to claim the victory. Five different Alabama players reached double figures, led by Riley Norris’ 18 points, while Retin Obasohan added 16 points and a game-high seven rebounds in the victory.
As a result of his play last week, senior guard Retin Obasohan was named the SEC Player of the Week after averaging 20.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists a game in wins over Mississippi State and Missouri last week. Obasohan, who also claimed the weekly honor for the week of Dec. 14, became the first Alabama men’s basketball player to earn the recognition twice in the same season since Kennedy Winston did so during the 2004-05 campaign.
Wednesday’s game will air on SEC Network as Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Joe Dean (analyst) will be on the call. The contest will also be available via the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Chris Stewart and Bryan Passink calling all the action. Fans will be able to follow along on gametracker (accessed through RollTide.com), and game updates will be available on Twitter via @AlabamaMBB.
In 11 home games during head coach Avery Johnson’s first year, Alabama has had three sellouts and is averaging 13,025 fans per game, which ranks fourth in the SEC. That number would rank as the highest single-season per game attendance average in program history (full note on page 9). In addition, the Tide has sold out a total of four games (including Auburn on Feb. 27), which marks the first time that an Alabama men’s basketball team has had four or more sellouts in the same season since 2010-11 (4 sellouts).
Alabama will play its sixth ranked opponent this season when it takes on No. 15/13 Texas A&M on Wednesday night. The Tide has gone 3-2 in its previous five contests. In addition, Alabama has faced an additional three opponents who were receiving votes to be ranked at the time they played (Dayton, Oregon and at South Carolina), making nine of its 23 opponents this season to be ranked or receiving votes in the AP top 25 poll at the time the game was played.
Alabama enters Wednesday’s game ranked No. 53 in the RPI and boasts the 24th-toughest schedule in the nation, according to ESPN.com (as of Feb. 8). Alabama ranks second in the SEC (behind Texas A&M) with three wins (3-5) vs. the RPI top 50.
Over his last six games, senior guard Retin Obasohan is averaging 22.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, while shooting 54.9 percent from the floor and 44.4 percent (12-of-27) from beyond the arc. For the season, the Antwerp, Belgium native leads Alabama with 10 games of scoring 20 or more points this season, including reaching the mark in five of his last six contests.
Obasohan is approaching a major milestone. He enters the Texas A&M game with 948 career points and needs just 52 points to become the 49th player in men’s basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
During SEC play, Riley Norris leads the team with 5.7 rebounds per game and 44.2 (23-of-52) percent shooting from beyond the arc. He also ranks second on the team in conference play in points per game (11.6 ppg), steals (1.1 spg) and minutes (32.6 mpg). He enters the Texas A&M game ranked fifth in three-point field goal percentage and 17th in rebounding in SEC games only.
The Crimson Tide will begin a two-game road swing when it travels to Gainesville, Fla. to take on the Florida Gators on Saturday, Feb. 17. The game is set to tip off at 4:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.
Tickets, mini-packs and single-game tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online at RollTide.com/Tickets or by calling 1-877-TIDETIX (843-3849). Fans can also purchase tickets in advance at the Alabama Ticket Office, located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum.
For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. General athletic news can be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.
Alabama (13-9, 4-6 SEC), winner in three of its last four games, closes its two-game homestand on Wednesday night when hosts No. 15/13 Texas A&M Aggies. The Tide swept the season series a year ago and owns a record of 4-1 when playing the Aggies in Tuscaloosa.
Senior guard Retin Obasohan leads Alabama in scoring (16.0 ppg), steals (1.4) and minutes (32.1 mpg) through the Tide’s 22 contests. The Antwerp, Belgium, native currently ranks 12th in the SEC in scoring average, eighth in minutes per game and 10th in steals per game entering Wednesday’s contest.
Junior forward Shannon Hale and graduate transfer Arthur Edwards rank second and third on this year’s team in scoring average at 11.3 ppg and 10.0 ppg, respectively. Hale, missed the Tide’s last two games (at Mississippi State and vs. Missouri) with a foot injury and is considered day-to-day. Prior to his injury, Hale was averaging 13.8 points and 3.8 rebounds a game over his previous five contests. Meanwhile, Edwards leads Alabama and ranks sixth in the SEC in three-point field goal percentage at 40.7 percent (48-of-118) for the year and has reached double figures in 12 of his last 17 contests.
Sophomore Riley Norris has stepped up his play during the SEC season. The Albertville, Ala., native is leading the team in rebounding (5.7 rpg) and three-point field goal percentage (.442), while ranking second in scoring (11.5 ppg) during conference play. In addition, he ranks fifth in SEC games only in three-point field goal percentage
As a team, Alabama is outscoring the competition for the season by 0.2 points per game (68.0-67.8). The Tide comes into Wednesday’s contest ranked among the top defensive teams in the SEC. Entering the game, Alabama ranks third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.324), fifth in scoring defense (67.7) and field goal percentage defense (.403) and sixth in blocked shots (5.2 bpg). Offensively, the Tide is fourth in three-pointers made per game (7.8).
ALABAMA-TEXAS A&M SERIES NOTES
The contest between Alabama and Texas A&M on Wednesday night will mark the 14th meeting in series history and the fifth time the two teams will meet as SEC rivals.
Alabama owns a 9-4 edge in the previous 13 games, including having won two straight and three of the last four in the series.
The Tide secured a season series sweep of the Aggies during the 2014-15 season, as the teams played the first and last league games against one another. Alabama first claimed an impressive 65-44 victory in the conference opener on Jan. 6, 2015 in Tuscaloosa. In the final game of the regular season, the Tide came from behind to take a 61-60 win in College Station, Texas on March 7, 2015.
This marks just the sixth time Alabama has played Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa, and the fifth time the teams have met under the arched roof of Coleman Coliseum.. The Tide has an all-time record of 4-1 when playing the Aggies at the Capstone and are 3-1 in games played at Coleman Coliseum.
Eight of the 13 contests in the series have been decided by single digits, including one overtime contest (12/13/08).
TEAM EFFORT LEADS ALABAMA PAST MISSOURI
Alabama led by as many as 24 points and went on to defeat Missouri, 80-71, in front of a sellout crowd at Coleman Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. Five Crimson Tide players scored double-digit points, led by sophomore forward Riley Norris’ 18-point day.
In addition to Norris’ scoring output, senior guard Retin Obasohan tallied 16 points to go along with a game-high seven rebounds and four assists on the night. Sophomore guard Justin Coleman had his second straight solid outing, finishing with 14 points and a team-leading five assists.
The Tide took control of the game early with a 15-2 run midway through the first half. The run turned a 16-16 tie into a 31-18 lead for Alabama. The Tide outrebounded Missouri (8-15, 1-9 SEC) 20-13 in the first half and turned the ball over just three times en route to taking a 40-28 lead into the locker room.
Out of the break, the teams traded baskets until Alabama went on a 10-0 run to extend its lead to the largest of the lead, 67-43, with 9:28 remaining.
However, the Tigers never gave up and responded with an 8-0 spurt to cut the Alabama lead to 67-51. Missouri eventually cut the lead to single digits down the stretch, but could not overcome the Tide’s advantage.
Arthur Edwards (11) and Jimmie Taylor (11) also finished in double figures. It was the second time this season that Alabama has had five players score in double-figures. Both Taylor and Donta Hall blocked four shots on the night.
COACH AVERY JOHNSON’S THOUGHTS: “I am really proud of our guys. I am not as focused on how we lost the lead. We had some younger guys in there, some walk-ons, guys who needed to get some minutes and improve. They have been working hard on our scout team, so I was glad that we were able to get them some minutes. I am glad that we won the game and the way we won the game.”
ALABAMA-MISSOURI – AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
What Won The Game For UA: A balanced scoring attack. For just the second time this season, Alabama had five players reach double figures in the win. The only other time it occurred was when the Tide posted a season-high 105 points in a win over Lafayette back on Nov. 20.
The Difference Maker: With the score tied at 16-16 with 11:03 remaining in the opening half, the Tide a 15-3 run over the next 2:15 to take a 31-18 lead. From there, Alabama staked claim to a 40-28 halftime lead and led by as many as 24 points midway through the second half before capturing the victory.
The Wow Stat: Alabama entered the game last in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio and 13th in turnover margin. However, the Tide committed just three turnovers in the opening 20 minutes and finished the game with 14 assists to 13 turnovers. It was just the third time this season that the Tide has recorded more assists than turnovers in a game, winning each of those three contests (Kennesaw State and Lafayette).
OBASOHAN NAMED SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK…AGAIN
Alabama men’s basketball senior guard Retin Obasohan was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced on Monday. It marked the second weekly award this season as the native of Antwerp, Belgium also earned the recognition for the week of Dec. 14,
Obasohan becomes the first Alabama men’s basketball player to win the weekly honor twice in the same season since former standout Kennedy Winston achieved the feat during the 2004-05 campaign.
Obasohan earned the recognition after he averaged 20.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in a pair of wins at Mississippi State and vs. Missouri last week. The Antwerp, Belgium native shot 56 percent from the field and 36 percent from beyond the arc in leading the Tide to back-to-back league wins.
Obasohan is just the fourth different Alabama men’s basketball player to earn the league’s POW award since 2013, joining Trevor Releford (week of Dec. 19, 2013), Levi Randolph (week of Nov. 24, 2015) and Ricky Tarrant (week of Dec. 29, 2015).
TOPPLING THE TOP 25
Wednesday’s game against No. 15/13 Texas A&M will be the sixth top-25 opponent Alabama has played in its 23 games this season. In addition, the Tide has faced three opponents who were receiving votes to be ranked at the time (Dayton, Oregon and at South Carolina), making nine teams who UA has played that were either ranked or receiving votes to be ranked at the time of the contest.
Alabama owns a record of 3-2 when facing an Associated Press top-25 team on the year. Most recently, the Crimson Tide captured a 73-50 victory over then-No. 19 South Carolina on Jan. 13 in Coleman Coliseum. It marked UA’s first home win over a ranked team since beating then No. 12 Kentucky, 68-66, on Jan. 18, 2011.
It is the first time since the 2005-06 campaign that an Alabama team has recorded at least three top-25 wins in a season.
Alabama’s first two victories over ranked teams came in back-to-back contests when it defeated then-No. 20 Wichita State (64-60) on Nov. 27 followed by a 74-73 victory over then-No. 17 Notre Dame on Nov. 29. It marked the first time Alabama had won consecutive games against ranked opponents since they defeated then-No. 12 Florida on Feb. 26, 2006, after downing then-No.8 Tennessee on Feb. 18.
The victory over Wichita State snapped a 21-game losing streak to ranked opponents dating back to Jan. 18, 2011, when Alabama beat then-No. 12 Kentucky at home (68-66). It also marked the first win over a ranked opponent at a neutral site since Nov. 29, 2009, when the Tide beat then-No. 15 Michigan.