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Feb. 3, 2007

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – Mykal Riley scored 14 of his 15 points over the final 12 minutes and No. 19 Alabama rallied for a 64-61 victory over South Carolina on Saturday.

Richard Hendrix added 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Crimson Tide (16-5, 4-4 Southeastern Conference), which had trailed 34-26 in the opening minutes of the second half.

He hit two straight baskets inside to give Alabama a 61-58 lead with 1:33 left. Brandon Wallace then threw an errant pass on South Carolina’s next possession to give the Tide the ball back.

But Riley missed a pullup jumper with 35 seconds to play to give the Gamecocks a shot at tying it. South Carolina called timeout 15 seconds later, but Tre’ Kelley’s pass was tipped into the hands of Riley.

Brandon Hollinger hit two free throws with 8.9 seconds left to make it 63-58.

Brandon Wallace then hit a 3-pointer with 2 seconds to play for South Carolina (12-9, 2-6), but Hendrix got the ball to Riley on a long inbounds pass. He was quickly fouled by Bryce Sheldon and made the second of two free throws with less than a second remaining.

Sheldon’s desperation three-quarter court shot at the buzzer sailed well left of the basket.

Jermareo Davidson had nine points and 10 rebounds for Alabama. Coming off a career-high 31 points at LSU, Davidson missed his first eight shots and didn’t score until hitting two free throws with 14:48 left.

Alonzo Gee had 12 points and four steals.

Riley, who was replaced in the starting lineup by Hollinger this week, made his first field goal on a 3-pointer with 11:39 to play, and hit two more 3s after that.

Sheldon led South Carolina with 17 points, making 5-of-8 3-pointers. Kelley had 14 points and eight assists, but also committed seven turnovers.

Dwayne Day finished with 10 points.

The Gamecocks’ first basket of the second half made it 34-26 and Alabama missed nine consecutive shots out of halftime.

But the Tide also forced 12 second-half turnovers to come back. Alabama took its first lead of the half, at 51-50, on Hollinger’s 3-pointer from the right corner with 7:01 left.

Sheldon had kept South Carolina ahead with three consecutive 3s from nearly the same spot on the right side. But the Gamecocks’ next five possessions ended with a missed shot and four turnovers.