February 16, 2008
Report card: South Carolina 67, Alabama 65
Mykal Riley played his career-best game in scoring 28 points on 10 of 13 shooting, including 8 of 10 from 3-point range. Aside from his hot hand, however, the Crimson Tide got little offensive support from its guards. Brandon Hollinger coughed up a game-high five turnovers and scored just three. As a group, UA's guards committed 13 of the team's 18 turnovers.
Richard Hendrix delivered another double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. South Carolina fronted Hendrix defensively and did a nice job of limiting his touches with that strategy. Though he is technically a guard, Alonzo Gee took his game inside against a smallish Gamecocks lineup and scored 11, all in the second half.
South Carolina's Devan Downey hit six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 29, including a game-winning 3-pointer from well beyond the line in the final minute. As a team, USC hit 8 of 25 3-pointers and Alabama's defense forced only six turnovers on the night. South Carolina outscored UA 17-2 on fast break points, although turnovers by the offense created much of that.
The telling statistic for South Carolina was offensive rebounds (14). The SEC's worst rebounding team doubled a bigger Alabama squad in that department, and the second shots made a definite difference. USC's Dominique Archie scored 17 in support of Downey. As if scoring 28 wasn't enough, UA's Riley chipped in nine rebounds (eight defensive) and four blocked shots.
Three Alabama reserves combined for 45 minutes and scored just four points, not enough production for a team that always seems to have two starters shoot cold. Mikhail Torrance handed out a game-high six assists, but also committed back-to-back turnovers down the stretch.
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