ST. LOUIS — She couldn’t watch.
Game on the line and probably NCAA Tournament hopes with it, Gia Sexton instead stood out in the hallway of the Scottrade Center and listened to the crowd.
She heard the roar, then cautiously walked into the entrance where she could see the big replay board.
Wearing a white “Sexton” hoodie, she watched her son Collin on the screen lay in a sweet, underhanded floater at the buzzer for the win Thursday at the SEC basketball tournament.
“My baby! My baby did it!” she shouted as she walked back out into the crowd. She didn’t see her son’s 26th and 27th points.
Alabama won 71-70 over Texas A&M as Sexton took an inbounds pass, dribbled the length of the floor with little resistance and made the game-winner. His shot came after A&M’s T.J. Starks hit a 3 with 4.1 seconds to play to give the Aggies the lead.
“Coach told me to race up the floor and get to the basket,” Sexton said. “He knew how fast I could get there, so he said just get to the basket and get a layup for us.”
Alabama, which had lost five straight games coming into the tournament, led by as many as 12 in the second half, but 17 turnovers kept the Tide from pulling away.
Whether the win gets Alabama in or not depends on who you talk to. All we know for sure is the Tide is alive in this tournament and will play top-seeded Auburn in the quarterfinals.
“It’s going to be a big one,” said Alabama’s Dazon Ingram. “We know what they’re going to do.”
Starks led the Aggies (20-12) with 23 points while Admon Gilder had 15. Alabama (18-14) shot 47.5 percent for the game