Feb 15, 2014; Columbia, SC, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Anthony Grant reacts to a play against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the first half at The Colonial Life Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama Loses Heartbreaker to South Carolina, 67–66

The Alabama Crimson Tide (10–15, 4–8 SEC) lost in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday afternoon against the South Carolina Gamecocks (10–15, 3–9 SEC) 67–66.

Despite another brilliant second half performance, Trevor Releford was unable to pull the Tide to victory in the final seconds. Releford had an open look in the final 10 seconds, but couldn’t knock down the go-ahead three-pointer.

The Crimson Tide came out flat on offense only scoring 19 points in the first half. Although the defense was able to hold the Gamecocks to 26 points, it wasn’t enough.

Trevor Releford led all scorers with 27 points, including 25 in the second half. He also added three steals, three assists and four rebounds.

Junior guard Rodney Cooper and freshman forward Shannon Hale each finished with 11 points. Cooper led the Tide with five rebounds on the afternoon.

Junior transfer guard Algie Key got the start over Retin Obasohan, but was held scoreless.

Freshman forward Jimmie Taylor and junior guard Levi Randolph added some valuable minutes off the bench scoring six points each.

Alabama had no answer for South Carolina freshman Sindarius Thornwell. The 6-foot–5 guard led the way for the Gamecocks with 22 points. He also notched four assists and four rebounds.

Thornwell has been one of the biggest surprises in the SEC this season. He is among the top freshman in the conference in scoring and has scored 15 points or more in the Gamecocks’ last three games.

Senior guard Brenton Williams was the only other South Carolina player in double-figures. He finished with 10 points on 4-of–8 shooting.

Saturday’s loss marks the Tide’s eighth-straight loss away from Coleman Coliseum this season. It also marks their ninth-straight conference loss on the road.

Coming into the game, South Carolina was ranked last in the SEC standings. This is a game that Alabama couldn’t afford to lose. The game also marks the Tide’s fourth loss in five games.

South Carolina will look to build upon their current two-game winning streak on the road against the Arkansas Razorbacks (15–9, 4–7 SEC).

Alabama will look to salvage what is left of the season against the Texas A&M Aggies (14–11, 5–7 SEC) on the road on February 20.

Thursday night’s matchup between the Tide and the Aggies will tip-off at 6 p.m. CT in College Station, Texas. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN2 and via the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage, as always, will be provided by your local CTSN affiliate.

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