Kira Lewis Jr. poured in a game-high 25 points, and freshman Javian Davis scored a career-high 20 as short-handed Alabama edged South Carolina 90-86 Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Davis added a career-high 10 rebounds for his first double-double, and Jaden Shackelford added 18 points for the Crimson Tide (16-13, 9-9 Southeastern Conference), who kept alive their longshot NCAA Tournament hopes while dealing a crucial setback for the Gamecocks (17-12, 9-7).
Alabama was without its second-leading scorer with John Petty Jr. (15.0 points) sitting with an elbow injury suffered in his previous game against Mississippi State.
Herbert Jones started his fifth consecutive game wearing a protective covering on his injured left wrist and played all 40 minutes, finishing with 10 points, nine rebounds and two steals.
Sophomore Keyshawn Bryant had career highs in points (22) and rebounds (13) for his third consecutive double-double for the Gamecocks. A.J. Lawson added 17 points, and Jermaine Couisnard had 12 points and five assists.
The Tide climbed out of an early 15-3 hole after starting 2-of-12 from the field and caught the Gamecocks at 28-28 on Shackelford’s 3-pointer at the 7:21 mark of the first half. South Carolina bounced back, however, and went into the break with a 43-41 lead.
The two teams went back and forth for much of the second half until the Tide went on a 18-9 spurt to assume 78-70 lead with 4:33 remaining. After the Gamecocks climbed back to within 82-80, and a flagrant foul on Couisnard with 2:07 led to four quick points and an 86-80 Alabama lead. Free throws by Shackelford and Davis in the final 14.5 seconds sealed the win.
After going 15-of-19 from the free-throw line in the first half, the Tide ended up on 33-of-47 for the game to 17-of-26 for the Gamecocks.
—Field Level Media