February 15, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Interim Alabama coach Phillip Pearson shook his lineup up a bit Saturday in an effort to help his team shake a slump.
Pearson started juniors Anthony Brock and Demetrius Jemison in place of sophomore Senario Hillman and freshman JaMychal Green.
But the result was a last-second 75-73 loss to South Carolina.
After Anthony Brock was called for an offensive foul with 34.3 seconds left, South Carolina (18-5, 7-3 Southeastern Conference) was able to hold for the last shot.
Devan Downey missed a runner with less than 6 seconds left and Dominique Archie missed a tip-in, but a second tap by Mike Holmes went in as the buzzer went off.
Officials J.B. Caldwell, Bert Smith and Joe Lindsay reviewed the video replay from Raycom-TV and called the shot good.
Alabama dropped 13-11 and 3-7.
"Tough road game, like we thought it would be," said South Carolina coach Darrin Horn. "The mark of this team is showing great toughness and staying in the game. At the end of the game, we were able to make a play. It took everybody to make that happen. Sometimes the shot goes in, sometimes you get the tip and sometimes you don''t."
Alabama senior Alonzo Gee didn''t think Holmes'' tip was going to count.
"We thought the ball was in the rim and we thought they were going to call (offensive) goal-tending," Gee said. "If we just get the rebound, we go to overtime and that solves everything. We started off strong, but we''ve just got to work on finishing the game."
Alabama''s last field goal came on a Gee dunk at the 3:43 mark and its last point was a Gee free throw on the front end of a one-and-one with 2:13 to go.
The Gamecocks held a 23-11 advantage in points off turnovers and Alabama had 21 turnovers.
"It didn''t go down like we''d like it to," Pearson said. "I thought we got off to a great start in the first half. We had the 10-pont lead at half and we let them cut back into it too quickly. To our guys credit, they hung in there and we got the lead back. It''s just a play or two here and there, coming up with a rebound, or tracking down a loose ball.
"They got a good tip and we''ll go on from there."
Green, coming off a hip-pointer he suffered last Sunday at LSU, did play as a substitute, as did Hillman. Hillman scored 17 points, while Green hadd nine points and eight rebound.
Pearson said Hillman did not start due to a mid-week illness
Alabama led 41-31 at intermission. Green made a lay-up and made one of two free throws to put the Tide up 19-7 at the 12-minute mark, while South Carolina star Downey did not score until he made a pair of free throws with 7:49 left in the half. Downey rebounded to score nine points in each half, to finish with 18.
Archie had 15, Brandis Raley-Ross scored 13 and Holmes'' late ti gave him a dozen for Carolina.
Gee scored 18 points to lead Alabama and Mikhail Torrance tallied all 12 of his points in the first half. Jemison and Gee had eight rebounds each.
"Its very frustrating," Torrance said. "Coach (Phillip) Pearson did a great job of preparing us for the game."
Alabama travels to Florida for a 6 p.m. tipoff Wednesday.