By Stan J. Griffin: January 1, 2017
THE SCORE: South Carolina women's basketball team 93, Alabama 45 as Kristy Curry's Crimson Tide team falls hard on the road in its Southeastern Conference opener to Dawn Staley's athletic, talented and experienced No. 6 Gamecocks.
South Carolina sent a message about its strength early as it tallied 12 of the first 14 points and jumped to a 27-9 lead after the first 10 minutes.
Despite only outscoring the Tide 14-13 in the second period, the home team still led comfortably 41-22 at the intermission. The Gamecocks scored 31 of the 42 points tallied in the third period and the score heading to the final period was 72-33. The Gamecocks coasted in the final 10 minutes, outscoring Alabama 21-12 for good measure.
SITE: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, S.C., Attendance: 12,069
RECORDS: Alabama 12-2 (0-1 SEC), South Carolina 11-1 (1-0 SEC)
KEY STARS FOR THE TIDE: Freshman Jordan Lewis led the Crimson Tide with 10 points, with NeNe Bolton adding nine and Meo Knight eight. Ashley Williams and Knight led the Tide with six boards each while Lewis led Alabama with four assists. Freshman Ashley Knight had two blocks while Meo Knight had two steals.
GOOD NUMBERS: Alabama converted nine of its 12 free throw attempts and the Tide forced 14 South Carolina turnovers
NOT SO GOOD NUMBERS: The Tide shot only 27 percent from the field for the game, including 25 percent from 3-point range, and South Carolina won the battle of the boards 44-27 while forcing 22 Tide turnovers. South Carolina outscored Alabama in the paint 54-14, 36-14 off turnovers, 18-5 in second chance points and 19-6 in fast break points.
COACH SPEAK: "All the credit goes to South Carolina,” said Curry. “There are four pros in that starting lineup. Hats off to them.”
“The thing for us is that we have to realize we have 15 opportunities ahead of us,” added Curry. “It’s a marathon and not a sprint. We need to turn the page quickly on this one and get prepared for Ole Miss (Thursday night in Tuscaloosa).”
NEXT UP FOR THE TIDE: The Crimson Tide hopes to rebound when it hosts the Rebels in the Tide’s SEC home opener on Thursday, Jan. 5 at Coleman Coliseum.
Tip is set for 7 p.m. CT on SEC Network +.
Special thanks: Alabama Athletics Communications