Gamecocks Squeeze By Crimson Tide, 67-65
Feb. 16, 2008
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Devan Downey capped a 29-point performance with a four-point play with 14.3 seconds left as South Carolina slipped past Alabama 67-65 Saturday night.
With Alabama up 65-63, Downey nailed about a 23-foot 3-pointer and was fouled by reserve guard Mikhail Torrance. Downey, who was one shy of his career high, hit the free throw, and the Crimson Tide couldn't get off a shot until after the horn sounded.
Alabama (14-12, 3-8 Southeastern Conference) was led by senior Mykal Riley, who had 28 points, including making eight out of 10 3-pointers -- both career highs. But it wasn't enough as the Crimson Tide fell to 0-5 on the road in the SEC.
With South Carolina (12-12, 4-6) clinging to a one-point halftime lead, the second half was nip and tuck early with six ties and two lead changes in the first eight minutes. But after the Gamecocks grabbed a 54-48 lead on Downey's NBA-range 3-pointer with 9:26 left, the Crimson Tide went on a 10-1 run to go up 58-55 with 6:16 remaining on back-to-back buckets in the lane by Alonzo Gee.
But South Carolina came back, converting back-to-back turnovers into lay-ups by Mike Holmes and Brandis Raley-Ross to jump ahead 61-58 with 3:56 left. It was, however, a short-lived lead as Riley hit a 3-pointer 20 seconds later.
After Holmes' turnaround jumper, Riley nailed his eighth trey of the game after his own offensive rebound to give Alabama a 64-63 lead. Richard Hendrix then hit one of two foul shots after a Gamecock turnover to make it 65-63 with 36.6 seconds left.
Hendrix had his 13th double-double of the year with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
South Carolina led 31-30 after a half in which Downey had 15 points and five steals for the Gamecocks while Riley hit five of six 3-pointers to finish the first half with 17 points along with six rebounds.
The Crimson Tide led early 10-4, but South Carolina rallied to go up twice by seven, the last time at 26-19 with 4:22 left on Dominique Archie's two free throws. But Alabama outscored the Gamecocks 11-5 from there to pull within one at intermission.
Archie finished with 17 points.