The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: Gamecock men's basketball stopped offensively by Crimson Tide, records lowest points of the season

<p>Senior forward Josh Gray catches his breath during the Gamecock victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Jan. 6, 2024. South Carolina is currently 13-2 after a 74-47 loss to Alabama.</p>
Senior forward Josh Gray catches his breath during the Gamecock victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Jan. 6, 2024. South Carolina is currently 13-2 after a 74-47 loss to Alabama.

The South Carolina men's basketball team faced off against Alabama Tuesday night, in a game that saw the Gamecocks struggle all around.

The game marked South Carolina's second SEC match of the season and its first SEC loss as it fell to the Alabama 74-47. 

The Gamecocks came into the game with a 13-1 record after a win in its first conference game against Mississippi State. Unfortunately, the South Carolina could not carry the momentum over and failed to put a full 40 minutes together.

South Carolina was only down by one point heading into the half but ultimately lost the battle in the second. This resulted in the team suffering its lowest-scoring total of the season. 

South Carolina's defense came into the game only allowing 63 points per game. But The Crimson Tide was averaging 91.8 points per game — the second most in the nation.

South Carolina started the first half strong and forced Alabama into four turnovers within the first couple of minutes. But as the game went on, South Carolina struggled to shoot the ball.

First half, we did enough to be in a spot that was certainly acceptable, and then in the second half, we let some of our lacks of success impact other aspects of the game, and they thrived on that,” head coach Lamont Paris said.

Alabama was led by senior guard Mark Sears, who had 15 points at halftime and kept the Tide in the game going into the break, leading 30-29.

Alabama came out of halftime on a 13-0 run, widening the gap between it and South Carolina.

The Gamecocks could not recover from the Crimson Tide's hot streak, who made 15 of 34 shots from the 3-point line throughout the game. 

South Carolina made 17 of 55 field goals and went 5-25 from the 3-point line, shooting 30.91% as a team.

We did not perform well offensively," Paris said. "And then like I said, that bled over into some other, and it was contagious throughout the whole team. I read the numbers as we went down, it was two guys had acceptable field goal percentages.”

The Gamecocks' struggle in shooting led the team to continue declining defensively.

Sears was a huge part of Alabama's offense as was graduate student guard Aaron Estrada. Sears finished with 31 points, and Estrada went 3-4 from the 3-point line with 17 points overall.

The Gamecocks couldn't stop Sears and Estrada, allowing the The Crimson Tide to find its rhythem in shooting the ball.

“When good players feel good, they make shots,” Paris said.

South Carolina could also not take care of the basketball, recording 17 turnovers. 10 of the turnovers were steals from Alabama.

Junior guard Meechie Johnson led the Gamecocks in points with 16, but he went 6 for 18 from the field.

Junior guard Myles Stute has been solid for the Gamecocks this season but struggled throughout the night, shooting 0-3 from the field and finishing with 0 points

"Our struggles on offense collectively bled into what we were doing defensively,” Paris said.

What's Next?

The Gamecocks will look to bounce back from its second loss of the season when the team plays at Missouri on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 3:30 p.m. The Missouri Tigers are 8-7 on the year. 


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