St. Louis, MO (WSFA) - A buzzer-beating finger roll by freshman star Collin Sexton kept ninth-seed Alabama's SEC and NCAA Tournament hopes alive Thursday as the Crimson Tide (18-14) pulled out a 71-70 win over the eight-seed Texas A&M Aggies (20-12).
Sexton finished with 27 to lead all scorers in what was a thriller in St. Louis. The Tide led by seven at the break but the Aggies put together a solid second half to keep the game close, and even took the lead in the final seconds of the game, but it's who has the lead when the final horn sounds.
In the game's final minute, Sexton made a layup to put Alabama up 67-65, but a TJ Starks jumper with 39 seconds, and a Starks 3-pointer with four seconds tied the game and then gave the Aggies a one-point lead. Starks was the high man for Texas A&M, finishing with 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting.
Three of Alabama's five starters finished in double digits, none of whom are named John Petty, and the team as a whole still shot 47.5 percent from the field.
Miraculously, Alabama was able to pull out the win despite Petty, another freshman star, finishing with 0 points.
The win snaps a five-game losing streak by the Tide but the next game doesn't get any easier. Alabama was able to take two out of the three games they played against Texas A&M, but will they be able to do the same against their next opponent?
Next up for the Crimson Tide is SEC regular season champion and SEC West Champion Auburn, who also happens to be the top seed in the SEC Tournament. The last time the two teams met, Auburn downed the Tide 90-71. The two will tip off Friday at Noon on ESPN.