Alabama loses lead, then rallies to edge SC

Ruben Hill
February 27, 2019

Avery Johnson got the fast start he was looking for. Alabama, though, has struggled to score at times this season and that kept things tighter than it should've been given the Gamecocks inability to make shots in the first half.

The victory was crucial for Alabama (17-11, 8-7 in the SEC) as the Crimson Tide now sits on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament.

Kira Lewis Jr. scored 17 points and Donta Hall had 15 with 10 rebounds as Alabama pulled out a 68-62 road victory over SC on Tuesday night in Columbia, S.C.

SC (14-14, 9-6 SEC) has three games remaining in the regular season, starting Saturday at Missouri.

Riley Norris and SC native Tevin Mack added 11 points each for the Crimson Tide (17-11, 8-7 in SEC), who led by 13 in the first half then overcame a five-point deficit in the second to prevail in a matchup of NCAA Tournament bubble teams.

It took some resilience and some clutch late free throws.

TEAM LEADERSHIP: The Crimson Tide are led by Kira Lewis Jr. and Donta Hall.

SC shot a dismal 31 percent from the floor, the lowest Alabama has held an opponent to all season.

Lawson is averaging 31.2 minutes, 14 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as a freshman while shooting nearly 42 percent from the field. In its previous five games, SC shot 53 percent from 3-point range. The Crimson Tide won the rebounding battle 43-37 and outscored the Gamecocks 28-24 inside the paint. He had 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Columbia native Tevin Mack gave the Tide a boost with a 3-pointer to cut the score to 54-52 and Alabama eventually retook the lead at 58-57 at the 3:33 mark. Hassani Gravett was also in double figures with 12 points for the Gamecocks.

Alabama's next matchup is a huge game against the No. 13 LSU Tigers in Coleman Coliseum.

Lawson entered Tuesday as USC's co-leader in scoring at 14 points a game.

Matt Zenitz is an Alabama and Auburn reporter for the Alabama Media Group. The Crimson Tide closes out its regular-season schedule with a trip to Arkansas on March 9.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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