Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama rallies to beat South Carolina 79-70

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Justin Knox and Mikhail Torrance each had 17 points and Alabama, playing without leading scorer JaMychal Green, spoiled Devan Downey’s final South Carolina home game with a 79-70 victory Wednesday night.

The Crimson Tide (15-14, 5-10 Southeastern Conference) came in having lost seven of its past eight and fell behind 11-0 before rallying. Charvez Davis had two late 3-pointers, the second one that put Alabama ahead for good 65-64 with 4:29 to go.

South Carolina (14-15, 5-10) could not respond and lost its sixth straight — the team’s longest losing streak in seven years.

Downey, the SEC’s leading scorer, finished with 23 points. He also had three steals to set that Gamecock career mark with 273.

Alabama’s chance of success looked dim coming in. Besides having only one win the past few weeks, the Tide didn’t have Green, suspended by head coach Anthony Grant for violating team rules, and Alabama looked like a beaten team early, trailing 11-0 less than four minutes in.

The Gamecocks eventually built the lead to 29-15 on Ramon Galloway’s three-point play.

Slowly, the Tide reeled in South Carolina with a 16-5 run over the next six minutes to get back in it.

Anthony Brock hit a 3-pointer with 1:15 left to draw Alabama within 39-36 at the break.

Still, South Carolina was ahead 49-42 after Downey’s 3-pointer with 15:28 to go. However, Alabama’s size and effort underneath — the Tide outrebounded South Carolina 49-26 — wore down the Gamecocks.

Tony Mitchell’s jam tied the game at 59 and Davis followed with his first go-ahead 3.

After South Carolina moved back in front 64-62 on Sam Muldrow’s two foul shots, Davis struck again with a 3-pointer and Alabama held on for the victory.

Mitchell finished with 13 points and Senario Hillman 12. Chris Hines had 14 rebounds for Alabama.

Hillman returned after sitting out the last game against Mississippi because of a suspension.

The night was supposed to be about Downey and his stellar career.

He walked out with his family as the Colonial Life Arena scoreboard flashed highlights of Downey and his fellow seniors, including one-time starter Dominique Archie, who was injured in November and did not play again.

Coach Darrin Horn started little-used seniors Evka Baniulis and Robert Wilder alongside regulars Downey and Brandis Raley-Ross. Whether it was their final home game or their desire to end the long losing streak, the combination clicked immediately and South Carolina ran out to an 11-0 lead.

But Downey, 9-of-20 from the field, could not sustain the energy down the stretch.

Galloway had 21 points for the Gamecocks.

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