Alabama's objective Wednesday night against South Carolina was clear. The Tide was expected to go in to Colonial Life Arena in Columbia and hand the Gamecocks their fifth straight loss, which would effectively end Bama's three game losing streak. Rather than accomplishing that objective, however, the Tide finds itself limping back to Tuscaloosa battered and beaten and carrying the weight of a 4 game losing streak on it's back.
Bruce Ellington's drive and layup in the lane with 1.3 seconds left gave the 'Cocks a 56-54 victory over the Tide, which seemed out of sync throughout the game. Ellington, who had 10 first half points, had been scoreless in the second half until his game-winning basket. His drive ended South Carolina's 4 game losing streak and also gave the Gamecocks' their first win in league play. Despite a dismal shooting performance which saw them go 5-31 from behind the 3 point arc, South Carolina improved to 9-10 and 1-4 in the SEC.
Alabama, who was led in scoring by Levi Randolph with 12 points, never truly seemed to be on track as a team during the game. Their situation was made worse by senior forward JaMychal Green suffering a rolled ankle early in the 2nd half. Although Green managed to come back in the game, it was evident that he was nowhere close to being 100%. He ended the game with 6 points. Alabama's junior forward Tony Mitchell somewhat broke out of a slump by scoring double digits for the first time in 4 games. He ended with 11 points while freshman forward Nick Jacobs contributed 10. Sophomore point guard Trevor Releford, who was coming off a 17 point performance on Saturday against Kentucky, was held to just 2 points.
Alabama, who falls to 13-7 and 2-4 in the SEC, comes back home to play the Arkansas Razorbacks (15-5, 3-2 SEC) on Saturday at Coleman Coliseum. Tip-off for that contest is scheduled for 12:30 CT.