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Gamecocks Drop Road Game at Alabama
Men's Basketball  . 

Gamecocks Drop Road Game at Alabama

Carolina's 47 points a season low mark

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Mark Sears hit six 3-pointers and scored 31 points, Aaron Estrada added 17 on 7-of-11 shooting and Alabama used two second-half runs to pull away as it beat South Carolina 74-47 Tuesday night and snapped the Gamecocks’ six-game win streak.

Sears made 10 of 13 from the field, grabbed six rebounds and had three steals. Estrada, who hit 7 of 11 from 3-point range, finished with seven rebounds and two steals.

Alabama (10-5, 2-0 SEC) has won four straight following a three-game skid to No. 1 Purdue, No. 22 Creighton and No. 8 Arizona last month

Meechie Johnson led South Carolina (13-2, 1-1) with 16 points on 6-of-18 shooting, 2 of 9 from behind the arc. Ta’lon Cooper scored 10.

The Gamecocks made 10 of their first 21 field-goal attempts but just 1 of 7 to close the first half and missed their first 10 of the second as Alabama turned a two-point deficit into a 14-point lead. Sears hit a 3-pointer and Estrada added two more in a 13-0 run that made it 42-29 with 14 minutes left.

Johnson hit a 3 with 13:28 left that snapped a scoring drought of eight-plus minutes and a layup by Collin Murray-Boyles about a minute later cut South Carolina’s deficit to 10. Jarin Stevenson answered with a 3-pointer seven seconds later and Sam Walters hit another to cap a 10-0 run for a 54-34 advantage with 8:57 remaining.

The Gamecocks shot a season-low 31% (17 of 55) from the field while scoring their fewest points this season in a game and a half (16 in the second).

Alabama made 15 3-pointers and, despite a 12-9 deficit in offensive rebounds, outscored South Carolina 15-5 in second-chance points.

Alabama hits the road to play Saturday at Mississippi State. South Carolina visits Missouri on Saturday.


  • Alabama opened the second half on a 13-0 run stretching their 30-29, halftime lead to 14. South Carolina was unable to generate a basket in the second half until a Meechie Johnson 3 at the 13:28 mark. The Bama defense held the Gamecocks to just 18 points and 22.2 percent shooting (6-for-27) over the final 20 minutes.


  • Junior guard Meechie Johnson led Carolina with 16 points and two assists. Johnson has scored in double-figures in eight straight games, and it marks his ninth game leading the team in points and fourth leading the team in assists.
  • Graduate forward B.J. Mack led the Gamecocks with six rebounds. It is Mack’s fourth game this season leading the Garnet and Black in boards.
  • Graduate guard Ta’Lon Cooper collected his sixth double-figure scoring game of the year, notching 10 points on 4-of-8 from the floor. Cooper grabbed four rebounds and had three steals in 32 minutes for Carolina.
  • Carolina shot 88.8 percent (8-for-9) from the free throw line, their second highest percentage in a game this year. Carolina went 12-of-12 at the charity stripe against Winthrop back on Dec. 19.
  • The Gamecocks allowed just 30 points in the opening half by the Crimson Tide, a season low for them in a half (previous low was 32 vs. Clemson on Nov. 28). Alabama came into tonight’s contest second in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 91.8 points per game.
  • Carolina’s 30-29 halftime deficit marked the first time the Gamecocks have trailed in a half all year.


Carolina (13-2, 1-1 SEC) remains on the road for a Saturday matchup at Missouri (8-7, 0-2 SEC). Tip is set for 3:30 p.m. (ET) at Mizzou Arena. Richard Cross (pxp) and Perry Clark (analyst) will be on the call for the SEC Network broadcast.