The Alabama men’s basketball team kicked off conference play Saturday evening by knocking off No. 5/6 Texas A&M, 79-57, in Coleman Coliseum. The victory marked the first time the Crimson Tide defeated an AP top-5 opponent since March 20, 2004, when the Tide topped No. 1 Stanford, 70-67, in the NCAA tournament.

Alabama (9-4, 1-0 SEC) had four players reach double figures, including freshmen John Petty (18), Collin Sexton (16), junior Donta Hall (17) and sophomore Dazon Ingram (16).

Hall converted a layup with 9:08 left to play that stretched the Tide’s lead to 11, and it only grew from there. Alabama’s 56.0 percent shooting from the field (14-of-25)  in the second half made the difference, as well as holding Texas A&M (11-2, 0-1 SEC) to 30.0 percent shooting all game (21-of-70). The Tide blocked nine shots and edged the Aggies on the glass, 43-42.

Alabama will travel to Nashville and face Vanderbilt on Tuesday January 2 as Southeastern Conference play continues. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. on the SEC Network.

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