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Alabama’s 3-point shooting accuracy sinks South Carolina


Mark Sears pumped in 31 points and Alabama ambushed visiting South Carolina with second-half 3-point shooting in a 74-47 Southeastern Conference victory Tuesday night at Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Crimson Tide, in need to start compiling notable victories, opened the second half by scoring the first 13 points to extend a one-point lead. The onslaught didn’t stop there.

Aaron Estrada racked up 17 points — aided by three 3-pointers — for Alabama (10-5, 2-0 SEC), which has won four in a row. The Crimson Tide was 15 for 34 (44.1 percent) on 3-pointers.

Sears shot 10 for 13 from the field, making six of eight 3-point attempts and was also 5 for 5 on free throws. He scored half of Alabama’s 30 first-half points and opened the second-half scoring with a 3-pointer.

Meechie Johnson scored 16 points and Ta’Lon Cooper had 10 for South Carolina (13-2, 1-1), which was trying to build on one of the best starts in program history.

But shooting 30.9 from the field, including 5 for 25 on 3-pointers, led to the Gamecocks’ six-game winning streak ending abruptly. Johnson was 2 for 9 on 3s.

The Gamecocks connected on just 17 shots from the field and committed 17 turnovers.

It marked Alabama’s best defensive effort of the season in terms of points allowed. South Carolina had scored at least 65 points in every previous game this season.

Sears eclipsed the 30-point mark for the second time this season. The other time came with 35 in a Dec. 9 loss to Purdue.

Estrada hit two 3s during Alabama’s opening 13-point surge in the second half. Twelve of the team’s first 17 second-half points came via 3-pointers.

Alabama finished with nine second-half 3-point baskets.

South Carolina had eight turnovers and 11 field goals in the first half but trailed only 30-29 at the break.

–Field Level Media

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