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March 5, 2003

Box Score

AP Sports Writer

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Kennedy Winston and Maurice Williams scored 22 points apiece as Alabama continued to make its case for an NCAA tournament bid, beating South Carolina 82-59 on Wednesday night.

The Crimson Tide (17-9, 7-8 Southeastern Conference) led by only two points two minutes into the second half but hit 18-of-26 shots after halftime for its second straight blowout win.

Erwin Dudley had 17 points and 13 rebounds as the Tide dominated the boards 45-26. South Carolina (12-14, 6-9) made just 3-of-21 3-pointers and was hampered by foul trouble.

Winston, who had his seventh straight double-digit scoring effort, grabbed eight rebounds and made 9-of-11 free throws.

Williams had six assists and was 4-of-8 from behind the arc.

Alabama, which had gone from No. 1 to an apparent longshot for an at-large NCAA berth, has won three of four, including an 86-63 win over Mississippi and a victory at Tennessee.

The Gamecocks had won five of seven but had Rolando Howell and Tony Kitchings get into foul trouble and lost Kerbrell Brown to a sprained right ankle in the second half.

Kitchings finished with 13 points but got his fourth foul midway through the second half and played only 24 minutes. Carlos Powell added 12 off the bench. Howell had eight points but fouled out with 4:37 left.

Brown was helped off the court with 8:20 left after hitting a 3-pointer and falling to the floor, and he was to be evaluated Thursday.

The Tide went on a 15-1 run – including 11 points from Williams and Winston – to build a 61-40 lead with 10:19 left.

The Tide trailed by as many as seven points early but scored 11 straight to start a 19-5 run and take a 28-19 lead. The Gamecocks went scoreless for a 5:27 stretch but scored the final four points before halftime to climb back to 30-27.

It was the final home game for Alabama seniors Dudley, Kenny Walker and Terrance Meade, all starters since their freshman seasons.