Bruce Ellington scored on a drive to the basket with 1.0 left on the clock to give USC a 56-54 win over Alabama Wednesday night in Columbia. It’s the Gamecocks’ first win in SEC play this season breaking a nine game SEC losing streak dating back to last season.
An Alabama turnover with :26 to play gave USC the opportunity for the last shot. The Crimson Tide had two fouls to give, and after the second one with :05 left, Darrin Horn called a timeout and set up a clear out for Ellington.
The sophomore out of Berkeley High received the ball at the top of the key and dribbled thru the Alabama defense for the winning basket laying the ball up with his right hand.
After a time out, JaMychal Green received a long in bounds pass and put up a 15 footer from the right side of the lane that missed at the buzzer.
AUDIO: Darrin Horn post game press conference
AUDIO: Anthony Grant post game press conference
AUDIO: Bruce Ellington, Malik Cooke & Damontre Harris talk to the media
It was a tight game throughout with the Gamecocks trailing by just two at the break. But unlike their recent losses to Florida and Auburn when the Gamecocks wilted in the second half, they kept pace in the second half and took the game to the final possession.
Malik Cooke led USC with 18 points. Ellington and Damontre Harris added 12 points each. Levi Randolph led Alabama with 12 points.
The Gamecocks pounded the Crimson Tide on the offensive glass with 19 offensive rebounds, their second highest totalof the season. That, along with 15 Alabama turnovers, helped the Gamecocks put up 68 total shots, 19 more than the Crimson Tide.
USC improved to 9-10 and 1-4 in the SEC while Alabama, which has lost four straight SEC games, falls to 13-7 and 2-4 in the league. The Gamecocks play at Ole Miss Saturday. Alabama returns home Saturday to play Arkansas.