No. 2 Alabama slips past South Carolina in overtime
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Freshman Brandon Miller went for a career-high 41 points and hit the game-winning basket in the final seconds to lead the No. 2 Alabama men's basketball team past South Carolina in overtime, 78-76, Wednesday night in Colonial Life Arena.
With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 24-4 on the year and maintains its grip on first place in the Southeastern Conference at 14-1.
Miller dominated throughout the night, hitting career-bests of 14-of-25 shots from the field, including hitting 6-of-13 from beyond the arc, to go along with eight rebounds, three steals and a pair of blocks in 43 minutes of action on the night.
He also hit the basket in the final seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime, while his game winning basket came with nine-tenths of a second remaining on the game clock.
Charles Bediako was the only other UA player to reach double figures, finishing with 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots. Noah Clowney finished with eight points and eight rebounds, while Mark Sears added eight points in the win.
The Crimson Tide trailed by five points with just over three minutes remaining in regulation but outscored the Gamecocks 9-4 the rest of the way to force overtime. Miller scored six of UA's 10 points to secure the victory.
South Carolina (10-18, 3-12) was led by GG Jackson's 19 points, while Meechi Johnson and Jacobi Wright added 18 apiece in the losing effort.
- The win marked the Tide's eighth-straight victory over the Gamecocks in the series, and second consecutive win in Colonial Life Arena.
- Brandon Miller became the first Alabama player to score 40 points in a game since Collin Sexton had 40 against Minnesota on Nov. 25, 2017.
- The contest featured 12 ties and 10 lead changes, as Alabama led for 19:17 and South Carolina held the lead for 18:30.
- Alabama dominated in the paint, owing a 40-27 advantage on the glass and outscoring USC 40-24 in the paint.
- The Tide also had an 11-5 edge in offensive boards that resulted in a 9-2 advantage in second-chance points.
- It was the second overtime game of the season and the first since Alabama's quadruple overtime victory against then-No. 1 North Carolina in the Phil Knight Invitational (11/27).
- South Carolina made a half-court buzzer beater to result in 35-31 halftime lead, just the second time in SEC play the Crimson Tide has trailed at intermission.
- Miller led all scorers with 15 points in the first half, shooting 5-of-9 from the field and 3-of-6 from three-point range South Carolina shot 56 percent from the field, while Alabama shot 40 percent.
- Bediako made an impact on offense for UA, scoring seven points along with five rebounds.
- Alabama outrebounded South Carolina 18-11 led by Bediako's five boards.
- South Carolina built its lead up to as many as seven early in the half before the Tide went on an 10-0 run to regain the lead, with Miller scoring all 10 points.
- From that point on, the half featured seven ties and six lead changes.
- Miller's layup with four seconds left to play evened the score at 68-68 and forced overtime.
- Mark Sears scored all eight of his points while Miller had 20 of his 41 in the second half.
- After South Carolina took an early lead in the extra period, three consecutive layups from the Crimson Tide freshmen - Jaden Bradley, Brandon Miller and Noah Clowney - to give UA a 74-70 lead.
- Miller scored six points in all in overtime, including the last four on layups with each putting Alabama in the lead The game-winner game with 00.9 seconds left and the ensuing desperation heave was just off the mark.
Alabama will return home to face the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday afternoon The contest will tipoff at 2 p.m. ET and air live on ESPN2 It will be Senior Day as the program will honor Adam Cottrell, Noah Gurley and Dom Welch prior to tipoff