TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Mark Sears had 23 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals and hot-shooting No. 15 Alabama beat Texas A&M 100-75 on Saturday.

Rylan Griffen scored 17, Latrell Wrightsell Jr. had 16 and Aaron Estrada and Sam Walters added 11 each for Alabama (18-7, 9-2 SEC). Walters led the Crimson Tide with eight rebounds.

“That’s a big win; we’ve got teams right on our tail in the SEC race,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said. “It was a well-needed win at this point in the year.”

Sears made four of his seven 3-point shots and eight of his 14 shots from the floor, leading an Alabama offense that was overwhelming. The Crimson Tide finished the game shooting 52% from the field (37 of 71) and 44% from 3-point range (18 of 41) and scored 22 fast-break points to Texas A&M’s four.

Tyrece Radford led Texas A&M (15-10, 6-6 SEC) with 22 points and four rebounds, but he accounted for five of the Aggies' 15 turnovers. Solomon Washington had 14 points and eight rebounds while Henry Coleman III contributed 12 and Wade Taylor IV had 10.

Alabama led by six points with six minutes left in the first half, then quickly expanded that lead to 15 points in the next two minutes. Only once after that did Texas A&M narrow the deficit to single digits, a window of opportunity that lasted only until the next score.


Sears continues to play at a level worthy of consideration for SEC Player of the Year honors. Sears and Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht entered Saturday nearly identical in points per game, with Sears averaging 20.5 and Knecht at 20.4. Knecht has outpaced Sears against conference competition, with Knecht entering Saturday averaging 26 points per game while Sears stood at 21.82.

Sears adds to his case, however, by ranking top 10 in the SEC in both assists and steals in all games, and top five in the SEC in assists against conference competition.

Sears and Knecht meet again when Alabama plays Tennessee on March 2; Tennessee won the first matchup on Jan. 20 at home, 91-71.


Wrightsell scored all of his points in the second half and made four of the six 3-point shots he took, answering consistent pleas from Oats to shoot more.

“Just trusting my shot, staying consistent and my teammates believing in me, finding me in open spots,” Wrightsell said. “I got yelled at by coach, y’all probably know Coach has been yelling at me for not taking the shot.”

Wrightsell is shooting 45.2% from deep for the season.

“Any time he’s open he should shoot the ball. He’s one of the best shooters I’ve ever coached; why he would ever pass up an open shot is beyond me,” Oats said. “I wish my college coach told me to shoot every time I was open."


Texas A&M collected 26 offensive rebounds - more than Alabama’s 23 defensive rebounds, and ultimately leading to 21 second-chance points - yet still lost by 25 points.

“We have to be really good on the offensive glass,” Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said. “I think the thing that hurt us today, they offensive rebounded the ball really well."


Alabama: Hosts Florida on Wednesday.

Texas A&M: Returns home to host Arkansas on Tuesday.


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