It was better late than never for USC Tuesday night. The Gamecocks overcame a cold start to a game that didn’t tip off until after 9 P.M. and beat Alabama 68-66 at Colonial Life Arena to grab its first SEC win of the season.
USC (10-5, 1-2) came out of the gate slow; they spotted Alabama (12-4, 2-1) the first nine points of the game. The Gamecocks finally scored their first basket of the game at the 15:02 mark. That bucket sparked a 9-0 run for Carolina that tied it. From there USC took control of the game. They led by five and the half, 30-25. The started the second half on a 13-5 run to build a double-digit working margin that was ended up being just enough to nurse over the final 15 minutes.
USC led by as many as 13, but Bama whittled that down and cut it to a two point game in the finals seconds. Down two with 11 seconds to play, Alabama had the ball with a chance to win it, but the three point attempt by Levi Randoph was off the mark.
The game didn’t offer much in terms of flow. There were a total of 54 fouls called, 27 for each team. At least they called it both ways, but it made it hard to watch at times. The grind it out style suited Michael Carrera well. He finished with 12 points and eight rebounds and made 7-8 free throws. The Gamecocks made 21-27 from the free throw line, Alabama 20-30.
Tyrone Johnson led the Gamecocks with 13 points. Mindaugas Kacinas added 10. Those were the only double digit scorers for USC. Duane Notice finished with eight points, all in the second half. Sindarius Thornwell only made one shot, a three pointer, and finished with six points.
Frank Martin press conference:
SportsTalk at the Stadium recap: