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November 28, 2007

Aggies fend off Alabama to stay unbeaten

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Donald Sloan had 15 points and a career-high eight assists to help No. 9 Texas A&M remain undefeated with a 76-63 victory over Alabama on Wednesday night.

Alabama got within two points of the Aggies (7-0) early in the second half, but wouldn't get any closer.

The Crimson Tide (3-2) cut A&M's lead to 50-47 on a 3-pointer by Rico Pickett with about 12 minutes left before Josh Carter answered with a 3 for the Aggies. Sloan extended his arms above his head to signal the 3 just before the shot swished through the net.

Sloan then stole the ball from Mykal Riley and made a layup to make it 55-47.

It was Texas A&M's first game in College Station since capturing the NIT Season Tip-Off championship with a 70-47 win over Ohio State on Friday at Madison Square Garden.

Crimson Tide star Richard Hendrix, who finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds, had a layup with about eight minutes left to cut A&M's lead to six points, but Dominique Kirk scored four quick points to make it 61-51.

Hendrix made two free throws before the Aggies scored five straight points punctuated by Chinemelu Elonu's dunk to take a 66-53 lead with five minutes left to put this one out of reach.

Kirk added 14 points and Carter had 13 for the Aggies.

Hendrix scored 13 points in the first half, but was slowed in the second half by physical defense by A&M's DeAndre Jordan and Elonu. Alonzo Gee also scored 19 points for Alabama, but had six turnovers.

Alabama outscored A&M 8-2 in the opening minutes of the second half to cut the Aggies' lead to 46-44. Sloan added four straight points to stretch the lead back to six with about 12 minutes left.

Jordan had his 16th dunk of the season in the first half. In just seven games, the freshman has already outdone Carter's team-leading 12 dunks from last season.

The Aggies led by four points before Sloan made two free throws and a 3-pointer in the last minute of the first half to push A&M's lead to 44-35.

Texas A&M had a season-high crowd of 10,328, including former president George H. W. Bush.


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