Alabama Men’s Basketball Stuns No. 19 South Carolina, 73-50
Sophomore forward Riley Norris scored a career-high 27 points and tied a school record with eight three-pointers to lead the Alabama men’s basketball team past No. 19/15 South Carolina, 73-50, on Wednesday night in Coleman Coliseum. The Tide handed the previously undefeated Gamecocks (15-1, 3-1 SEC) their first loss of the year as Crimson Tide captured its third victory over a top-25 team this season.
Making his first start this year, Norris hit his first five three-pointers on his way to hitting 8-of-11 treys on the night. He became the sixth different player in program history to reach the milestone and the first since Mykal Riley accomplished the feat on March 16, 2008.
Furthermore, in addition to Johnson securing his first Southeastern Conference win on Wednesday night, the Tide also captured its first home win over a ranked team since defeating then-No. 12 Kentucky, 68-66, on Jan. 18, 2011.
Alabama (10-5, 1-2) got off to a hot start with a 19-4 run over the first 8:21 that saw Norris sink four three-pointers on his way to 18 first half points. The Albertville, Ala., native hit all five of his three-pointers in the opening stanza to help the Tide take a 35-22 lead to the locker room.
South Carolina would fail to score over the first eight minutes of the second half, as Alabama used a 13-0 run to build a 26-point lead at 48-22 with 14:07 left. Alabama would take its largest lead of the game moments late on a Norris three-pointer to put them up by 27.
With under three minutes to play, Norris made his eighth three-point basket to tie the school record for the most in a single game.
Alabama made 13 three-pointers and won the rebounding battle 38-30 to improve to 5-0 this season when outrebounding the opposition. The Tide defense forced 18 turnovers and recorded eight steals for a 23-8 advantage in points off turnovers. South Carolina shot only 36 percent from the field and 17 percent (3-of-18) from beyond the arc.
In addition to his scoring output, Norris led the team with seven rebounds to go along hitting 9-of-16 shots from the field. Justin Coleman scored 14 points, five rebounds and had a game-high six assists, while Shannon Hale added eight points off the bench.
Michael Carrera led the Gamecocks with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Jamall Gregory scored eight and Duane Notice finished with seven.
The Tide begins a two-game road stretch with a trip to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt on Saturday, Jan. 16. Tipoff against the Commodores is set for 5 p.m. on SEC Network.