South Carolina (12-12) at Alabama (16-8)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coleman Coliseum (15,316) -- Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Television: SEC Network. Home Record: South Carolina 8-7, Alabama 10-3. Away
Record: South Carolina 1-5, Alabama 4-5. Neutral Record: South Carolina 3-0,
Alabama 2-0. Conference Record: South Carolina 8-3, Alabama 2-9. Series
Record: Alabama leads, 23-13.
GAME NOTES: Two teams heading in opposite directions square off in an SEC bout
on Saturday afternoon, as the Alabama Crimson Tide entertain the South
Carolina Gamecocks at Coleman Coliseum.
Frank Martin's first season as head coach of South Carolina got off to a quick
start, as he led the team to wins in 10 of 13 non-conference games, but the
season has gone south since SEC action got underway. The Gamecocks are 2-9 in
the league, tying them with Mississippi State for last place. Their latest
loss at home to LSU on Thursday (64-46) extended their season-long losing
streak to five games.
Alabama is in the midst of a solid campaign, as it has won twice as many games
as it has lost (16-8), and at 8-3 in the SEC, is tied with Kentucky for second
place. The Tide captured a 52-45 win at Georgia on Tuesday night for their
fourth triumph in their last five games, and they now return to Coleman
Coliseum where they have won 10 of 13 this season.
Alabama leads the all-time series with South Carolina, 23-13, which includes a
63-57 triumph in the first round of the 2012 SEC Tournament.
Despite trailing LSU by just two points at the half, South Carolina lost
control of the contest after the break as it was eventually saddled with an
18-point setback. It was their worst offensive performance of the season, the
team shooting only 28.1 percent from the field (including 3-of-19 from 3-point
range) in the woeful 46-point effort. Lakeem Jackson managed to piece together
a solid performance with 10 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two
blocks, while Michael Carrera tallied eight points and eight rebounds. The
Gamecocks are usually a much more potent offensive club, scoring 67.2 ppg on
the season, but during their current losing streak that number has plummeted
to 50.8 ppg. Michael Carrera is a steady presence in the paint with 10.9 ppg
and 7.2 ppg. Brenton Williams is the only other player to average double
figures with 10.0 ppg, although Bruce Ellington (9.9 ppg), Brian Richardson
(8.5 ppg) and Jackson (8.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg) are all productive in their own
The Crimson Tide certainly weren't at their best shooting wise in their latest
outing, as they hit only 19-of-49 field goal attempts and 8-of-14 from the
foul line, but they were able to capture the seven-point road victory thanks
to an outstanding defensive effort as Georgia shot a meager 30.8 percent from
the floor. Rodney Cooper was the only UA player to reach double figures with
14 points, while Moussa Gueye (four blocks) and Trevor Releford (three steals)
shined on defense. Tuesday's game was a microcosm of Alabama's season, as it
oftentimes struggles to put points on the board (62.1 ppg), but typically gets
bailed out by its outstanding scoring defense (58.1 ppg). Releford leads the
team in scoring with 14.6 ppg and is as efficient as they come, posting great
percentages from the field (.468), 3-point range (.400), and the free-throw
line (.830). He is also an excellent perimeter defender with 2.0 spg. Trevor
Lacey brings 11.8 ppg and 3.2 apg to the table, while Cooper pours in 10.8
With the Tide's staunch defense facing a floundering South Carolina offense,
this one should be relatively easy for Alabama, especially on its home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Alabama 65, South Carolina 53
02/16 10:34:10 ET