Death, Taxes and Turnovers: Tide Drops Home Finale to Texas A&M
The Alabama Crimson Tide, entering the final home game of the 2021 season, had a chance to secure back-to-back 20 win seasons for the first time since 2013, and head into Baton Rouge with a three-game win streak.
Instead, turnovers and lazy defense reared their ugly head once more and the Tide dropped its home finale to the Texas A&M Aggies 87-71.
"Our defense was a disaster in the second half," Oats said following the loss, "We didn't do a good job with any of the stuff we tried to stress."
"The end is gonna come quick if this is the effort we're going to get."
For the Aggies, senior guard Quenton Jackson was sensational, scoring 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting and keeping the game out of reach for Alabama in the second half. Henry Coleman III cleaned up the boards for A&M, ending the night with 11 rebounds, good for six more than Bama's leading rebounder, Charles Bediako.
All game long, the physicality of Texas A&M was evident as the Tide struggled on the boards, ultimately losing the battle on the glass 33-24.
Jaden Shackelford led the way in scoring for Alabama, finishing the game with 16, but struggled on the defensive end, allowing both of A&M's starting guards to finish with over 20 points.
"I feel like we've just got to be tougher. We knew Texas A&M was a tough team," said Shackelford after the game, "We've just got to be sharper. It's March now. It's time for us to really hone in on what needs to be done going into every game."
Alabama ended with 19 turnovers, nearly tying the season high of 22 and looked lost in transition at multiple points leading to several empty possessions, especially in the second half.
The Tide moves on to their final game of the regular season against LSU in Baton Rouge on March 5, looking to secure a 20-win season once again. Despite a tough loss to a team that likely will not see the NCAA Tournament this season, Alabama still projects as a 5-6 seed in this year's bracket and has shown the ability to hang with top tier teams.