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Feb. 24, 2015

Final Stats | USATSI Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif

Team 1st 2nd Total
South Carolina 22 29 51
Alabama 22 37 59
Coach Martin and Duane Notice

TUSCALOOSA, ALA. – Despite a career game from junior post Laimonas Chatkevicius, the South Carolina men’s basketball team dropped a 59-51 decision on the road at Alabama (17-11, 7-8 SEC) Tuesday night. Chatkevicius and Duane Notice combined for 34 of the team’s points, 27 coming in the second half alone. With the loss, the Gamecocks fall to 13-14 (4-11 SEC), the first time all season that they’ve had a sub-.500 record.

The Gamecocks would never trail in the first half after Tyrone Johnson opened the game’s scoring with 3s on back-to-back possessions. After earning the win at home in the first meeting on the strength of its rebounding, the formula would again be an early factor. Seven of the team’s first ten points came on second-chances created from offensive rebounds, and the Gamecocks went into halftime with a 13-2 advantage in second-chance points.

Carolina built a 10-3 lead through the first three minutes of action, but hit a scoring snap of 4:31 minutes that helped the Tide creep back in. Boosted by Levi Randolph’s 10 points in the half, the home side would fight back to tie the game at 20 with 1:52 to play and went to halftime tied at 22. A seven-rebound advantage in the first half negated a sizable shooting advantage for Alabama, who out-shot Carolina 47 percent to 36 overall and 37 percent to 16 percent from 3.

Notice sparked the offense out of the break, accounting for the team’s first three baskets of the second half. He hit three-straight 3-pointers, with his third giving the Gamecocks a 31-28 lead with 16:19 to play. After that 3, the Crimson Tide went on an 13-2 run over the next 3:24 to take its first lead of the game, punctuated by back-to-back 3-pointers from Rodney Cooper and Retin Obasohan.

The inside-outside combination of Chatkevicius and Notice would keep the Gamecocks alive despite the big run, with the duo combining for every point through the first 15 minutes of the second half. After Alabama took its biggest lead of the night, 41-33, the duo brought the team all the way back to a 44-all tie with 8:30 to go.

A 3-pointer in transition from Michael Carrera with five minutes to play cut Alabama’s lead to one, 50-49, but the Tide was able to answer every basket to maintain the lead. For the entire second half, the Gamecocks would make ten field goals, and Alabama scored on the following possession seven times to stifle any chance at a game-changing run.

After tying the game again at 46, a 10-3 run for Alabama gave it the lead for good. Carolina would finish with just two baskets on its final 11 attempts, while the Tide relied on seven free throws in the final two minutes to maintain a comfortable lead.


After the Gamecocks took the lead back out of the halftime break, the Crimson Tide used a 13-2 run from the 16:19 mark until 12:55 to play to take what would be its biggest lead of the night. Alabama made 5-of-6 field goals in that run to steal Carolina’s early momentum.

KEY STAT While the offense was inconsistent for the Gamecocks, the hustle was not. Carolina owned a 17-6 advantage in offensive rebounds for the game and scored 22 second-chance points while allowing Alabama just eight. The 22 points are a season high, surpassing the previous best that also came against the Tide, back on Jan. 13.


  • Rookie guard Marcus Stroman returned for the court for the Gamecocks on Tuesday night after missing the previous four games due to a throat infection.
  • The South Carolina bench was held scoreless in the game, and attempted only three shots. The team’s previous low for the season was seven in the Texas A&M game on Saturday.
  • Laimonas Chatkevicius set a new career high with 18 points, hitting 7-of-12 field goals and all four free throws. It is his 11th double-digit scoring effort of the season, and fourth in league play. If you add up those 11 games, it surpasses his scoring total in 23 games as a freshman in 2012-13.
  • Duane Notice hit four 3-pointers in the second half alone en route to 16 points for the game. He has five games this season with three or more makes from deep, and this is the first time he has reached the mark in a losing effort.
  • QUOTABLE South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin

    Opening Statement
    “A lot of credit to Levi Randolph. We battled to tie the game after being atrocious to start the second half. We were so bad to start the second half. We were bad at the finish the first half and just worse to start the second half. We kept battling and figured out a way to tie the game, and then Levi did what seniors do. They protect their home court, they put their team on their back in difficult moments, a lot of credit to him. I’m disappointed in our lack of aggressiveness, especially from our guards. I’m very disappointed but it is what it is. Instead of being aggressive in our zones, we are being way too passive and unless we change, the outcomes will remain the same.”


    South Carolina returns to Colonial Life Arena on Saturday for two-straight SEC matchups. The Gamecocks host Mississippi State on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET on the SEC Network, before No. 18/16 Arkansas visits Columbia on Thursday, March 5, for Senior Day. The meeting vs. the Bulldogs will be the first this season, and the matchup with the Razorbacks will be the second 2015 game between the two schools, as Arkansas posted a 75-55 win in Fayetteville on Feb. 3.