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Sloan, second-half run push Texas A&M past Alabama

Nov 29, 2007 - 6:00 AM COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Ticker) -- The Texas A&M backcourt helped the Aggies continue their early-season momentum.

Donald Sloan, Dominique Kirk and Josh Carter combined for 42 points as the ninth-ranked Aggies surged past Alabama, 76-63, on Wednesday.

"I was really pleased tonight," Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said. "Our guys learned tonight that things cannot be going well, we were in foul trouble, we were turning the ball over and the other team was just balling - and we can still survive and win handily."

Texas A&M (7-0), which defeated Ohio State, 70-47, to win the NIT Season Tip-Off last Friday, led by just two points early in the second half before it started to pull away.

Sloan scored six points during a 9-3 spurt that gave the Aggies a 55-47 lead with 10:35 to play. Kirk then scored six of his 14 points on a 9-2 run that pushed the advantage to 66-53 with just over five minutes left.

"I thought that Sloan did a great job finding me," Kirk said. "It's great that we have two guys that can play the point. To us it doesn't matter who scores the most as long as we get the job done."

Sloan finished with 15 points and eight assists and Carter added 13 for the Aggies, who have started 7-0 for the fourth straight season.

"That A&M team is a team that understands their roles," Alabama coach Mark Gottfried said. "They make key plays at key times. Our guys played hard. I loved my guys' effort tonight but we just made too many errors at key times."

Richard Hendrix had 19 points - 15 in the first half - and 12 rebounds for Alabama (3-2), marking the first time that the junior forward failed to top the 20-point mark this season.

However, it was the fifth straight double-double for Hendrix, who came into the game ranked second in the nation with 14.5 rebounds per game.

Alonzo Gee also scored 19 for the Crimson Tide, who have lost two of their last three.

Texas A&M led by seven early before Alabama rallied to take a 28-27 lead on a basket by Demetrius Jemison with 6:21 left in the first half.

However, the Aggies closed the half strong, scoring the final seven points - five from Sloan - to take a 44-35 advantage at the break.

The Crimson Tide went on a 7-0 run to pull within two points at 46-44 with 14:29 remaining, but never got any closer thereafter.

"They (Texas A&M) are going to play good defense and rebound well every night," Gottfried said. Their defense wore on us and I think our legs were kind of dead at the end of the game."