- Alex Scarborough, ESPN Staff Writer
The University of Alabama dropped its second straight game in the final seconds, losing this time to South Carolina on a Bruce Ellington layup with 1.3 seconds left.
The 56-54 defeat in Columbia, S.C., is the Tide’s fourth straight loss and drops it to 2-4 in the SEC.
During the four-game losing streak, a common theme has prevailed: inconsistency. When one thing works well for the Tide, another falls apart.
When JaMychal Green gets going, the injury bug bites.
When Nick Jacobs plays inspired basketball against second-ranked Kentucky, he follows it up with an uneventful night against unranked South Carolina.
When the Tide finally win the battle at the free-throw line, it turns the ball over 15 times to make up the difference.
The consistent play just isn’t there, even when it’s good. Freshman guard Levi Randolph went from 4 points against Mississippi State to 13 against Vanderbilt to none against Kentucky and then back again with 12 off the bench against South Carolina.
Until the Tide get consistent output and effort, close games like the ones during the current four-game losing skid will continue.
Welcome back, Tony Mitchell
After going missing in the last three games, Tony Mitchell found himself against South Carolina. He responded to a three-game stretch that resulted in just 14 points to go 5 for 12 with 11 points against the Gamecocks. He also pulled in eight rebounds and had two assists.
Arguably the Tide’s most athletic player broke out of his slump in a big way, attacking the rim and throwing down a thunderous slam dunk in the second half. It seemed to be a moment of relief to the junior forward. The tentativeness we saw in recent action dissipated and the dynamic scorer looked more like the man who averaged more than 15 points per game last season.
In what is becoming a disturbing theme, Green had to leave the floor with another injury. He fell awkwardly on a South Carolina defender’s foot and hurt his left ankle. He immediately went to the bench and sought the help of trainers. He did return the game for a stretch but was tentative on the foot. … Green’s absence certainly aided in South Carolina’s success in the paint, out-rebounding and out-scoring Alabama under the basket. … Alabama was much better at taking quality shots than South Carolina, shooting better than 42 percent to the Gamecocks’ 32 percent, but that was negated by the Tide losing the turnover battle, 15 to nine. … South Carolina was allowed to attempt nearly 20 more shots than the Tide and out-rebounded Anthony Grant’s squad 15 to 10 on the offensive boards. … Alabama will host Arkansas on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. CT.
1dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough