USC To Host Alabama Saturday

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — South Carolina hosts Alabama in the only matchup between the two schools this season. The Crimson Tide posted a 68-58 victory over the Gamecocks in Tuscaloosa in last season’s only contest between the two teams. Saturday’s game will be broadcast on SECTV. OPENING TIP Date: Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 Tipoff: 4 p.m. ET Location: Columbia, S.C. Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000) Series: Alabama leads 24-13 Last Meeting: Alabama win, 68-58, on Feb. 16, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Coleman Coliseum) Broadcast: SECTV | ESPN3 Talent: Mike Morgan (pxp), Joe Dean (analyst) Radio: Gamecock Radio Network/107.5 The Game in Columbia Sirius: 93; XM: 199 Talent: Andy Demetra (pxp), Casey Manning (analyst) Carolina Quick Hits – South Carolina is in its 106th season of basketball. – The Gamecocks are led by Frank Martin in his second year. Matt Figger is the associate head coach, and Perry Clark and Lamont Evans are assistant coaches. Andy Assaley is in his second year as the director of operations for the Gamecocks. – The Gamecocks are in their 23rd season of competition in the Southeastern Conference in 2014. Carolina owns a 135-230 (.370) all-time record in SEC play. – Frank Martin owns a 56-55 (.505) all-time record in conference play. – In its second game of the season which took place campus closed due to winter weather, the Gamecocks moved 2-0 in such games, topping Vanderbilt Thursday night, 65-59, after the contest was postponed for 20 hours after the original scheduled time. Freshman Sindarius Thornwell led South Carolina with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists. – Against the Commodores, the Gamecocks grabbed a season-high 26 offensive rebounds en route to a 23-9 advantage in second-chance points. Five Carolina players recorded at least three offensive boards. – A 23-point halftime deficit was too much to overcome as South Carolina was defeated 72-53 by Tennessee Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena. Thornwell scored the Gamecocks first seven points and finished the day with a team-high 15 points and four steals. – Carolina’s game vs. Vanderbilt was the 2,500th game in program history. – After allowing Auburn to go on a 16-2 run early in the second half, the Gamecocks stormed back with an 18-2 run to level the game with under eight minutes to play, but the Gamecocks were unable to slow the Tigers down the stretch as they fell 79-74 at Colonial Life Arena. Senior guard Brenton Williams led all scorers with 29 points on a season high 10 field goals, going 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. Despite only scoring eight points, Thornwell posted season highs in assists (9) and steals (4). Sophomore forward Mindaugas Kacinas added a season high 14 points and freshman guard Duane Notice chipped in 12 points. – South Carolina held a 15-point lead with just under 11 minutes to play at Ole Miss (Feb. 1), but a late run from the Rebels turned the game in the home team’s favor as South Carolina fell 75-71 on Saturday. Senior guard Brenton Williams led all scorers with 23 points as he hit 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Thornwell added 20 points and a career high six assists. – The Gamecocks earned their first conference win of the season on Jan. 29 in an 80-52 win over Texas A&M, after holding a 20-point halftime lead. Freshman guards Duane Notice and Sindarius Thornwell paced the Gamecocks with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists apiece. – Carolina’s defense held the Aggies to 35.6 percent shooting from the field, and did not a allow a double-digit scorer for the first time this season. – It was announced on Jan. 16 that junior guard Tyrone Johnson suffered a right foot fracture in the Jan. 15 game at Texas A&M, which required surgery. Johnson is out indefinitely. The Plainfield, N.J., native has played in 16 contests this season for Carolina, averaging 11.2 points and a team best 3.4 assists per game. He tallied 11 double-figure scoring games and 11 games with at least three assists prior to his injury. – In this season’s first meeting vs. Ole Miss, the Gamecocks held a 10-point lead at halftime, but the Rebels came back to out-score the Gamecocks 48-37 in the second half and claim a 75-74 win last Saturday at Colonial Life Arena. Freshman guard Sindarius Thornwell posted the first double-double of his career with teams highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds in the game. Senior guard Brenton Williams did not hit a basket in the contest, but was a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line, including making three from the line with just six seconds to play to pull the Gamecocks within one of the Rebels at the time. – Senior guard Brenton Williams posted the second 30-point game of his career last Saturday at Missouri, hitting a career high seven 3s, while adding a perfect 9-of-9 mark from the free throw line. Williams scored 22 of those points and hit five 3s in the second half. – Despite 32 points from Williams and sophomore forward Michael Carrera’s first double-double of the year with 16 points and 11 rebounds, South Carolina fell to 0-6 in league play with an 82-74 loss at Missouri on Jan. 25. The Gamecocks dished 12 assists, and committed just 11 turnovers, but poor shooting in the contest – 23-of-59 (39.0%) from the field – saw the home team post the win. Scouting Alabama The Crimson Tide enter Saturday’s matchup with a 10-14 overall record, which includes a 4-7 mark in SEC games … Before topping Ole Miss 67-64 on a last second 3-pointer by Senior guard Trevor Releford, the Tide had lost its previous four games … Releford leads the team with in points (18.7) and assists (2.9) per game … Relaford ranks seventh in the SEC in scoring. Alabama Series Saturday’s meeting vs. Alabama marks the 38th all-time meeting between the two schools … The Crimson Tide won the last meeting, 68-58, on Feb. 16, 2013, at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala. … Alabama leads the all-time series 24-13 … Since 2004, the Gamecocks are 5-7, winning its last game in the series, 56-54, on Jan. 25, 2012. By The Numbers 3 – In SEC games, Sindarius Thornwell leads all freshman in three categories: scoring (16.8), assists (4.09) and steals (1.45). 4 – The Gamecocks have won four of 12 games when the scoring margin is 10 points or less. 6 – South Carolina has played six of its 11 SEC games against teams that reside in the top half of the conference, four of which have 15 more overall wins on the year. 9 – Thornwell has recorded double-figures in nine of 11 SEC games, including four with 20-plus points. 14 – Williams has recorded double-figures in 14 of his last 16 games. 26 – Against Vanderbilt, the Gamecocks posted a season-high 26 offensive rebounds. 33 – In the last four games, Thornwell, Williams and Duane Notice have eached played at least 33 minutes per game. 37 – Since the injury to Tyrone Johnson on Jan. 15, Thornwell and Williams have stepped up their scoring numbers. The duo is averaging a combined 37 points over the last seven games, 9.7 points above their combined season average. 2,500 – The Gamecocks defeated Vanderbilt Thursday night in the program’s 2,500th game. Up Next The Gamecocks are on the road at Arkansas on Wednesday night for their only meeting with the Razorbacks this season. Game time is set for 9 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on CSS.

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